Formation of helical ion chains

R. Nigmatullin, A. del Campo, G. De Chiara, G. Morigi, M. B. Plenio, A. Retzker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)
206 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

We study the nonequilibrium dynamics of the linear to zigzag structural phase transition exhibited by an ion chain confined in a trap with periodic boundary conditions. The transition is driven by reducing the transverse confinement at a finite quench rate, which can be accurately controlled. This results in the formation of zigzag domains oriented along different transverse planes. The twists between different domains can be stabilized by the topology of the trap and under laser cooling the system has a chance to relax to a helical chain with nonzero winding number. Molecular dynamics simulations are used to obtain a large sample of possible trajectories for different quench rates. The scaling of the average winding number with different quench rates is compared to the prediction of the Kibble-Zurek theory, and a good quantitative agreement is found.
Original languageEnglish
Article number014106
Number of pages8
JournalPhysical Review B (Condensed Matter)
Volume93
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2016

Keywords

  • quant-ph
  • cond-mat.stat-mech

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Formation of helical ion chains'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this