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Latest News

Jun 3, 2024

Bose-Einstein condensate of polar molecules out in Nature!

Link to manuscript Nature (2024) 

Link to Press Release  

Link to Nature News

Link to Physics Today

Bose-Einstein condensate of polar molecules out in Nature!

Apr 30, 2024

Atoms trapped in metasurface tweezer arrays

In collaboration with the Nanfang Yu Lab at Columbia, we have developed a technique to trap atoms in optical tweezer arrays, generated via holographic metasurfaces. The picture shows a flouresence image of Sr atoms,  cooled and trapped in a metasurface tweezer array with a mean tweezer spacing of 3 um. The technique allows creation of atom arrays with arbitrary geometry and high laser power. Congrats to the entire TweeSr and Yu Lab Team on this wonderful achievement! 

Atoms trapped in metasurface tweezer arrays

Dec 19, 2023

Bose-Einstein condensate of dipolar molecules!

Our latest preprint is out - we report the first creation of a Bose-Einstein condensate of dipolar ground state molecules. We evaporatively cool a gas of NaCs molecules from 700 nK to 6 nK above absolute zero. At this point the molecular gas forms a Bose-Einstein condensate, the coldest molecular gas to date. The lifetime of the BEC is ~2 sec. This becomes possible with an enhanced collisional shielding method that suppresses loss by 4 orders of magnitude. Thanks so much to the entire NaCs team - past and present members - for all the amazing work on this monumental project! https://arxiv.org/abs/2312.10965

Bose-Einstein condensate of dipolar molecules!

Dec 1, 2023

Moore Foundation supporting our ultracold molecules effort

We are extremely grateful that the Betty and Gordon Moore Foundation is supporting our effort on ultracold dipolar molecules, in particular the creation and investigation of Bose-Einstein condensates of dipolar molecules. Thank you to the entire NaCs team - past and current members - for driving this project forward with so much dedication and energy! 

Read more here: Sebastian Will Is on a Quest for Ultracold Quantum Control

Moore Foundation supporting our ultracold molecules effort

Nov 15, 2023

Automated detection of molecular laser cooling schemes

We propose and demonstrate a graph-based method that allows for the automated detection of laser cooling schemes in complex molecular spectra. The method leverages a change of representation, reinterpreting quantum states and transitions between them as a network graph that can be efficiently searched with modern search tools. We are excited for use cases with molecules, but the method may actually be more generally applicable, for any quantum systems with a discrete spectra. Kudos to Anna and Niccolò for spearheading this effort! 

Link: https://arxiv.org/abs/2311.08381

Automated detection of molecular laser cooling schemes

Sep 4, 2023

Microwave shielding and evaporative cooling of bosonic molecules out in Nature Physics!

Our paper reporting microwave shielding and first evaporative cooling of bosonic dipolar ground state molecules just came out in Nature Physics! We observe sample lifetimes of 1 second (100x improvement compared to previous) and cool bosonic molecules to the coldest temperatures yet (~30 nK above absolute zero), which should be an important stepping stone for further cooling towards quantum degeneracy. Congrats to the entire team and to Niccolò and Ian for leading this effort! 

Link: Nature Physics 19, 1579-1584 (2023)

Article by Ellen Neff: A Microwave Shield Yields Ultracold Dipolar Molecules


Microwave shielding and evaporative cooling of bosonic molecules out in Nature Physics!

Jun 26, 2023

Preprint on phased-array antenna for circularly polarized microwaves

For microwave-shielding of NaCs molecules we developed a cloverleaf microwave antenna that can produce clean circularly polarized microwave fields. Clean circular polarization can be helpful for quantum control applications with atoms and molecules, and potentially other quantum hardware systems. Congrats to the entire team and thank you to Weijun and Siwei for leading this! Link: https://arxiv.org/abs/2306.14791

Preprint on phased-array antenna for circularly polarized microwaves

Jun 1, 2023

Paper on efficient creation of NaCs molecules out in NJP

Our paper on the efficient creation of ultracold NaCs molecules just appeared in New Journal of Physics. We show STIRAP transfer to the absolute ground state with almost 90% efficiency. We are very excited about this as it allows the preparation of dipolar NaCs molecules at colder temperatures and efficient detection. Congrats to the entire team and to Claire for leading this effort! Link: New J. Phys. 25, 053036 (2023)

Paper on efficient creation of NaCs molecules out in NJP

Apr 3, 2023

Paper on holographic optical tweezer arrays is out

In this work, we demonstrate that holographic metasurfaces can generate versatile optical tweezer arrays. We demonstrate exotic lattice geometries in 1D, 2D, and 3D, including necklace, triangular, Kagome, honeycomb, twisted bilayer. We are excited to apply this for the generation of atomic tweezer arrays. In collaboration with our Columbia colleagues Nanfang Yu and Ana Asenjo-Garcia, and thanks to Xiaoyan Huang and Weijun Yuan for leading this effort! Link: Prog. Quantum Electron. 100470 (2023)

Paper on holographic optical tweezer arrays is out

Mar 16, 2023

Paper on ultracold NaCs molecules out in PRL

Our paper on the creation of ultracold NaCs ground state molecules just appeared in Physical Review Letters. Among other things, we show strong microwave coupling for rotational states (~45 MHz Rabi frequency). Congrats to Ian and the entire team on the amazing work! Link: Phys. Rev. Lett. 130, 113003 (2023)

Paper on ultracold NaCs molecules out in PRL

Feb 1, 2023

Nature News & Views on Molecular Resonances

In this week's Nature magazine Tanya Zelevinsky and Sebastian discuss newly discovered resonance phenomena in ultracold molecular gases and give an outlook on their impact on future research in quantum chemistry and quantum simulation with molecules. Link: Nature, 614, 35-36 (2023)

Nature News & Views on Molecular Resonances

Jan 13, 2023

Tweezer-trapped Sr in TweeSr Lab

Our TweeSr Lab is greeting the New Year with strontium atoms trapped in optical tweezer arrays! The array is generated with a crossed AOD setup. Congrats to the entire TweeSr team on this wonderful achievement & Happy New Year to everyone! 

Tweezer-trapped Sr in TweeSr Lab

Dec 5, 2022

Congrats to John Clauser for 2022 Physics Nobel

Sebastian and Prof. Henry Yuan from the Columbia Computer Science department comment on the history, accomplishment, and impact of John Clauser's work for quantum science and technology today. Clauser conceived his concept to experimentally test Bell's inquality while being a grad student at Columbia University in the 60s. Together with Alain Aspect and Anton Zeilinger, he received the Physics Nobel Prize 2022. Watch the video here: https://youtu.be/z-qJiNQIquc

Congrats to John Clauser for 2022 Physics Nobel

Oct 25, 2022

A New Approach to Cold Strontium Beams

In this preprint, we present a new cold atom source for strontium based on a two-dimensional magneto-optical trap (2D MOT) that is directly loaded from the atom jet of a dispenser. The design addresses the importnat challenge of reducing the complexity of cold beam sources for strontium, which is relevant for optical atomic clocks and quantum simulation and computing devices based on ultracold Sr. Thanks to Minho and Aaron and the entire team for driving forward this approach! https://arxiv.org/abs/2210.14186

A New Approach to Cold Strontium Beams

Oct 17, 2022

Metasurface Holographic Optical Traps for Ultracold Atoms

In this work, we propose metasurface holograms as a novel platform to generate optical trap arrays for cold atoms with high fidelity, efficiency, and thermal stability. We have characterized the resulting patterns of light which may find potential applications in atomic clocks, quantum optics, quantum simulation and quantum computing. Thank you to the entire team, especially to our collaborators from the Asenjo-Garcia and Yu groups! https://arxiv.org/abs/2210.07425 

Metasurface Holographic Optical Traps for Ultracold Atoms

Jun 2, 2022

Ultracold NaCs Ground State Molecules!

Our latest preprint just appeared on arxiv reporting the first ultracold gases of NaCs ground state molecules ⚛️-⚛️. Ultracold gases of dipolar NaCs molecules open new exciting opportunities for quantum simulation and quantum information - and we cannot wait to explore them. Thanks a lot to the  NaCs team for all the amazing work that led to this!

https://arxiv.org/abs/2206.00652

Ultracold NaCs Ground State Molecules!

Apr 21, 2022

New Quantum Simulation and Computing Lab Course

We started the new "Quantum Simulation and Computing Lab" course this semester. Students gain hands-on experience with entangled photon pairs, learn about quantum computing hardware, quantum algorithms, and how to program quantum computers. Thanks a lot to our TA team - Aden, Joseph, Shuhan, and Arjun - for making it a great success! Here an article in Columbia News.

New Quantum Simulation and Computing Lab Course

Apr 18, 2022

Aden defends his PhD!

Aden Lam, our first grad student graduates! Thank you, Aden, for going on this crazy  journey as the first lab member, starting from an empty lab. Congratulations on the successful defense and on an impressive thesis that documents all the wonderful things that you achieved! 

Aden defends his PhD!

Feb 17, 2022

Take a peek into our lab!

The coldest place in New York City is our NaCs lab! Thanks a lot to Columbia for making this beautiful video and thanks to everyone in the lab, who helped making this wonderful instrument a reality! Watch the video here: Youtube.

Take a peek into our lab!

Feb 8, 2022

Ultracold NaCs Feshbach molecules

Check out our latest preprint on arxiv - first high phase-space density gases of NaCs Feshbach molecules & an exciting step towards ultracold gases of dipolar NaCs ground state molecules ⚛️-⚛️. Thank you to the entire NaCs team for the amazing work! Link to the preprint: 

https://arxiv.org/abs/2202.03355

Ultracold NaCs Feshbach molecules

Dec 20, 2021

Laser cooling scheme for carbon dimers

Check out our latest preprint - if you have ever wondered, whether carbon dimers can be laser cooled this paper may offer some answers. Thanks a lot, Niccolò, for leading this study! Link to the preprint: 

https://arxiv.org/abs/2112.10745


Laser cooling scheme for carbon dimers

Oct 11, 2021

Quantum physics outreach featured on Columbia News

QPOP - Quantum Physics Outreach Program - that we have developed in collaboration with STEMteachersNYC is featured on the Columbia News. It has reached more than 100 teachers across the nation so far. Thank you, Claire and everyone involved!

Quantum physics outreach featured on Columbia News

Sep 13, 2021

First in-person seminar after 18 months

Sebastian gives the first in-person seminar at the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) at University of Maryland/NIST. The talk was also live streamed on Youtube. It is available here: JQI Seminar

First in-person seminar after 18 months

Sep 10, 2021

First Strontium 3D MOT

We made our first 3D MOT of Strontium using a completely homebuilt source. Congrats to the entire TweeSr team, Minho, Aaron, Siwei, Weijun, Max, and Quan, on this great achievement!

First Strontium 3D MOT

Sep 2, 2021

2BEC paper is out

Our paper on overlapping Bose-Einstein condensates of Na and Cs came out in PRA with an Editors' Suggestion. Congrats to the entire team for the amazing work! Check out the paper here:  Phys. Rev. A 104, 033302 (2021)

2BEC paper is out

Jun 21, 2021

DURIP Award

We received a  DURIP award from the Office of Naval Research supporting our NaCs molecule effort. Thanks a lot to the ONR DURIP program for the tremendous support! More information here.

DURIP Award

Jun 4, 2021

DAMOP 2021

We had a very successful DAMOP this year with Minho, Aden, Claire, Niccolò, Aaron, and Weijun all presenting on our recent developments. Nice job all!

DAMOP 2021

Jun 2, 2021

Overlapping BECs of Na and Cs

Check out our latest paper - first dual Bose-Einstein condensates of sodium and cesium. Two overlapping superfluids and exciting conditions to make very cold clouds of NaCs ground state molecules. Congrats to the entire NaCs Lab team for this great achievement! Link to the preprint: arxiv:2106.01334

Overlapping BECs of Na and Cs

May 31, 2021

Triangular Lattice from Metasurface

We got our first image of a triangular lattice pattern from a metasurface! It is the first step towards integrating this novel nanophotonic platform into an AMO experiment. We are looking forward to trapping atoms using it in the near future! Thank you Xiaoyan from Prof. Nanfang Yu’s group for providing the metasurfaces.

Triangular Lattice from Metasurface

Jan 28, 2021

Array of 900 Laser Traps

We produced an optical tweezer array with 30x30 traps! It is generated by two crossed acousto-optic deflectors driven with a comb of radiofrequency tones. The trap spacing is about 5 micrometers. Congrats to the entire TweeSr lab! 

Array of 900 Laser Traps
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