Spectroscopy and Directed Transport of Topological Solitons in Crystals of Trapped Ions

J. Brox 1 P. Kiefer 1 M. Bujak 1 H. Landa 2 T. Schaetz 1

Physical Review Letters, American Physical Society, 2017, 119 (15), 〈10.1103/PhysRevLett.119.153602〉

We study experimentally and theoretically discrete solitons in crystalline structures consisting of several tens of laser-cooled ions confined in a radiofrequency trap. Resonantly exciting localized, spectrally gapped vibrational modes of the soliton, a nonlinear mechanism leads to a nonequilibrium steady state of the continuously cooled crystal. We find that the propagation and the escape of the soliton out of its a quasi-one-dimensional channel can be described as a thermal activation mechanism. We control the effective temperature of the soliton's collective coordinate by the amplitude of the external excitation. Furthermore, the global trapping potential permits controlling the soliton dynamics and realizing directed transport depending on its topological charge.

  • 1. Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
  • 2. LPTMS - Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Modèles Statistiques