Transport of strong-coupling polarons in optical lattices

M. Bruderer, A. Klein, S. R. Clark, D. Jaksch

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We study the transport of ultracold impurity atoms immersed in a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) and trapped in a tight optical lattice. Within the strong-coupling regime, we derive an extended Hubbard model describing the dynamics of the impurities in terms of polarons, i.e. impurities dressed by a coherent state of Bogoliubov phonons. Using a generalized master equation based on this microscopic model we show that inelastic and dissipative phonon scattering results in (i) a crossover from coherent to incoherent transport of impurities with increasing BEC temperature and (ii) the emergence of a net atomic current across a tilted optical lattice. The dependence of the atomic current on the lattice tilt changes from ohmic conductance to negative differential conductance within an experimentally accessible parameter regime. This transition is accurately described by an Esaki-Tsu-type relation with the effective relaxation time of the impurities as a temperature-dependent parameter.
Original languageEnglish
Article number033015
Pages (from-to)1 - 24
Number of pages24
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2008


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