Dipolar evaporation of reactive molecules to below the Fermi temperature

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Abstract
Molecules are the building blocks of matter and their control is key to the investigation of new quantum phases, where rich degrees of freedom can be used to encode information and strong interactions can be precisely tuned. Inelastic losses in molecular collisions, however, have greatly hampered the engineering of low-entropy molecular systems. So far, the only quantum degenerate gas of molecules has been created via association of two highly degenerate atomic gases. Here, we use an external electric field along with optical lattice confinement to create a two-dimensional (2D) Fermi gas of spin-polarized potassium-rubidium (KRb) polar molecules, where elastic, tunable dipolar interactions dominate over all inelastic processes. Direct thermalization among the molecules in the trap leads to efficient dipolar evaporative cooling, yielding a rapid increase in phase-space density. At the onset of quantum degeneracy, we observe the effects of Fermi statistics on the thermodynamics of the molecular gas. These results demonstrate a general strategy for achieving quantum degeneracy in dipolar molecular gases to explore strongly interacting many-body phases.
Year of Publication
2020
Date Published
2020-12
Journal Title
Nature
Volume
588
Issue
7837
Start Page or Article ID (correct)
239
Start Page or Article ID (old)
239
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Polarized molecules in 2D