Ultracold atomic gases have been used extensively in recent years to realize textbook examples of condensed matter phenomena. Recently, phase transitions to ordered structures have been predicted for gases of highly excited, 'frozen' Rydberg atoms. Such Rydberg crystals are a model for dilute metallic solids with tunable lattice parameters, and provide access to a wide variety of fundamental phenomena. We investigate theoretically how such structures can be created in four distinct cold atomic systems, by using tailored laser-excitation in the presence of strong Rydberg-Rydberg interactions. We study in detail the experimental requirements and limitations for these systems, and characterize the basic properties of small crystalline Rydberg structures in one, two and three dimensions.Comment: 23 pages, 10 figures, MPIPKS-ITAMP Tandem Workshop, Cold Rydberg Gases and Ultracold Plasmas (CRYP10), Sept. 6-17, 201
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