The ongoing quest on achieving high-density samples of dipolar atoms and molecules aims at observing the exciting many-body phenomena predicted in such systems .
In the recent article in Physical Review Letters , the authors from ITAMP, George Mason University, and the University of Hamburg, introduced an alternative platform for quantum simulation of many-body systems. The proposed setup is based on nonspherical atoms or molecules with zero dipole moments but possessing a significant value of electric quadrupole moments.
Considering a quadrupolar Fermi gas trapped in a 2D square optical lattice, the authors showed that the peculiar symmetry and broad tunability of the quadrupole-quadrupole interaction results in a rich phase diagram encompassing unconventional BCS and charge density wave phases, and opens up a perspective to create a topological superfluid.
Quadrupolar species, such as metastable alkaline-earth atoms and homonuclear molecules, are stable against chemical reactions and collapse and are readily available in experiment at higher densities compared to the dipolar atoms and molecules.