Microwave shielding of ultracold molecules
Tijs Karman RU Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
Ultracold polar molecules are a promising platform for applications such as precision measurement, quantum computing, and quantum simulation. In typical experiments, the molecules’ lifetime is limited by loss due to molecule-molecule collisions. These losses prevent evaporative cooling of molecules and spoil resonances that could otherwise be used to tune interactions.
In this talk I will discuss “microwave shielding”, a scheme for inducing repulsive interactions between molecules that protect them from collisional loss . Microwave shielding has recently been realized experimentally . Shielding not only suppresses collisional loss, but also boosts elastic collisions. This enables evaporative cooling of fermionic NaK molecules to quantum degeneracy . I will also discuss recent results on controlling interactions between microwave-shielded molecules .
Figure 1. Microwave shielded CaF molecules in optical tweezers
 Karman and Hutson, PRL 121, 163401 (2018)
 Anderegg et al. Science 373, 779 (2021)
 Schindewolf et al. Nature 607, 677 (2022)
 Chen et al. arXiv:2210.13324