Ytterbium: a resourceful alkaline-earth-like atom

Ytterbium, as an alkaline-earth-like atom (AEA), features a rich electronic level stucture, offering many advantages over alkali atoms. Diverse optical transitions are available: a broad dipole-allowed transition at 399 nm enables efficient Zeeman slowing and fast laser cooling, a narrow intercombination transition at 556 nm can be leveraged to reach temperatures down to a few microKelvin by Doppler cooling, and an ultra-narrow clock transition can be used for metrological-grade spectroscopy and interferometry. The nuclear spin sub-states of the 1S0 ground and 3P0 clock states are ideal for encoding quantum information, owing to their weak sensitivity to external magnetic and electric fields, and to their SU(N) collisional symmetry, which increases the flexibility of quantum information and quantum simmulation schemes.

Developing a novel ytterbium atom experiment, we aim at pursuing different research directions in quantum science and technologies, from fundamental few- and many-body physics to quantum optics and atomtronics.

Quantum impurities

Strongly interacting quantum impurities

We study individual impurities embedded in a fermionic bath, one by one, combining microscopy with precise spectroscopy and interferometry.

Quantum many-body

Non-equilibrium dynamics in mesoscopic fermionic systems

We investigate the correlated behaviour of many interacting fermions using highly controllable quantum matter at ultracold temperatures from a bottom-up perspective.

Quantum information

Quantum optics with ytterbium atom arrays

We explore light-atom interactions in ordered arrays of fermionic alkaline-earth-like isotopes, such as 171Yb, exploiting their rich level structure.