Tunneling properties of a bound pair of Fermi atoms in an optical lattice

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We investigate the tunneling properties of a bound pair of Fermi atoms in an optical lattice, comparing with results obtained in an attractive Hubbard model. In the strong-coupling regime of the Hubbard model, it has been predicted that the motion of a bound pair between lattice sites is accompanied by virtual dissociation. To explore the possibility of this interesting phenomenon in an optical lattice, we calculate the molecular wave function in a cosine-shaped periodic potential. We show that the molecular tunneling accompanied by dissociation occurs in the intermediate-coupling regime of the optical-lattice system. In the strong-coupling regime, in contrast to the prediction in the Hubbard model, the bound pair is shown to tunnel through the lattice potential without dissociation. As a result, the magnitude of the molecular band mass M remains finite even in the strong-coupling limit, which is in contrast to the diverging molecular mass in the case of the Hubbard model. Including this finite value of the molecular band mass, we evaluate the superfluid phase transition temperature Tc in the Bose-Einstein-condensate limit of the optical-lattice system, where the Hubbard model gives Tc =0 due to the diverging molecular mass.

Original languageEnglish
Article number063617
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Dec 22

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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