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Postdoc Opening: Topology and interactions in driven optical lattices

position expires on April 30, 2018
ETH Zürich Switzerland CH

The physics of quantum many-body systems is determined by the interaction between its constituents and by externally applied potentials.

Periodically driving an interacting quantum system offers the possibility to coherently control its properties and realize new phases of matter. In solid state experiments, for example, ultrashort laser pulses have recently been employed to manipulate the charge order as well as to control magnetic and superconducting properties of materials. Quantum simulation experiments can provide the lacking microscopic understanding of such non-equilibrium phenomena and explore their full range.

Using Floquet-engineering in a periodically modulated optical lattice we realized the topological Haldane model [1] and most recently demonstrated that antiferromagnetic spin-spin correlations in a driven Fermi-Hubbard model can be enhanced or even switched to ferromagnetic correlations [2].

The ultimate step, studying and understanding the interplay between interactions and topology, will be the core of the Postdoc project. Fermionic atoms in Floquet-driven optical lattices with topologically non-trivial structures will be combined with strong and tunable interactions. We will determine the intrinsic time-scales of the system, explore novel phase diagrams and measure the influence of interactions on edge currents.

The project is carried out in a small team and a strong background in experimental quantum gas physics as well as in theoretical many-body physics is welcome.


[1] G. Jotzu, M. Messer, R. Desbuquois, M. Lebrat, T. Uehlinger, D. Greif, and T. Esslinger, Experimental realization of the topological Haldane model. Nature 515, 237-240 (2014).

[2] Görg F, Messer M, Sandholzer K, Jotzu G, Desbuquois R, Esslinger T, Enhancement and sign change of magnetic correlations in a driven quantum many-body system, Nature 553, 481-485 (2018).


Please contact:  Prof. Tilman Esslinger

ETH Zurich, Otto-Stern-Weg 1, CH-8093 Zürich