Realizing Fractional Chern Insulators in Dipolar Spin Systems

Norman Yao, Harvard University

Photo of Norman Yao

Strongly correlated quantum systems can exhibit exotic behavior controlled by topology. We predict that the u=½ fractional Chern insulator arises naturally in a two-dimensional array of driven, dipolar-interacting spins. As a specific implementation, we analyze how to prepare and detect synthetic gauge potentials for the rotational excitations of ultracold polar molecules trapped in a deep optical lattice. With the motion of the molecules pinned, under certain conditions, these rotational excitations form a fractional Chern insulating state. We present a detailed experimental blueprint for its realization and demonstrate that the implementation is consistent with near-term capabilities. Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 266804 (2012); Phys. Rev. Lett. 110, 185302 (2013).

Abstract Author(s): N.Y. Yao, C.R. Laumann, A.V. Gorshkov, A. Lauchli, J. Ye, M.D. Lukin