Friday, August 3, 2012

1208.0363 (Marina Litinskaya et al.)

Rotational excitations of polar molecules on an optical lattice: from
novel exciton physics to quantum simulation of new lattice models

Marina Litinskaya, Roman V. Krems
Ultracold polar molecules trapped on an optical lattice is a many-body system that, under appropriate conditions, may support collective excitations reminiscent of excitons in solid state crystals. Here, we discuss the rotational excitations of molecules on an optical lattice leading to rotational Frenkel excitons. Apart from solid hydrogen, there is no other natural system that exhibits rotational excitons. The rotational excitons have unique properties that can be exploited for tuning non-linear exciton interactions and exciton-impurity scattering by applying an external electric field. We show that this can be used to explore the competing role of the dynamical and kinematic exciton-exciton interactions in excitonic energy transfer and to study quantum localization in a dynamically tunable disordered potential. The rotational excitons can also be used as a basis for quantum simulation of condensed matter models that cannot be realized with ultracold atoms. As an example, we discuss the possibility of engineering the Holstein model with polar molecules on an optical lattice.
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