Trapping Alkaline Earth Rydberg Atoms Optical Tweezer Arrays

J. T. Wilson, S. Saskin, Y. Meng, S. Ma, R. Dilip, A. P. Burgers, J. D. Thompson

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52 Scopus citations


Neutral atom qubits with Rydberg-mediated interactions are a leading platform for developing large-scale coherent quantum systems. In the majority of experiments to date, the Rydberg states are not trapped by the same potential that confines ground state atoms, resulting in atom loss and constraints on the achievable interaction time. In this Letter, we demonstrate that the Rydberg states of an alkaline earth atom, ytterbium, can be stably trapped by the same red-detuned optical tweezer that also confines the ground state, by leveraging the polarizability of the Yb+ ion core. Using the previously unobserved S13 series, we demonstrate trapped Rydberg atom lifetimes exceeding 100 μs, and observe no evidence of auto- or photoionization from the trap light for these states. We measure a coherence time of T2=59 μs between two Rydberg levels, exceeding the 28 μs lifetime of untrapped Rydberg atoms under the same conditions. These results are promising for extending the interaction time of Rydberg atom arrays for quantum simulation and computing, and are vital to capitalize on the extended Rydberg lifetimes in circular states or cryogenic environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA61
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 21 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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