Ultracold Atom Research & Development of Erbium Microscope at Harvard’s Greiner Lab

02/17/2016 - 07:38

Perry Henderson

In 2009, Markus Greiner demonstrated a quantum gas microscope, where each site of the optical lattice can be resolved. For the first time, researchers could directly image the physical patterns that emerge in the atom arrangement as they interact within the lattice. Currently, there are nearly a dozen such quantum gas microscopes studying Rubidium, Lithium, Potassium, and Ytterbium.

“The behavior of ultracold atoms in optical lattices is similar to that of electrons in solids. Because of that, ultracold atoms can provide clean realizations of models from condensed matter which can be studied in a highly controlled environment.”
- Harvard University Department of Physics | Greiner Lab

Susannah Dickerson of Greiner Lab, Harvard University said, “The goal of the new apparatus is to extend this previous work to the element Erbium, which is highly magnetic and quite sensitive to magnetic fields. So our vacuum chamber is to be produced from extremely low permeability 316LN stainless steel. With such low permeability, the material will experience very little hysteresis, leading to a stable magnetic field.”


Applied Vacuum is producing the critical vacuum system components using 316LN ESR material for all flanges and housings, and 316L for port tubes. The welded assemblies will be vacuum heat-treated to remove magnetism which results from machining and welding. The goal being to have the lowest possible magnetic permeability for the completed vacuum chamber.