Kitaev honeycomb and other exotic spin models with polar molecules

TitleKitaev honeycomb and other exotic spin models with polar molecules
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsGorshkov, AV, Hazzard, KRA, Rey, AMaria
JournalMolecular Physics
Pages1908 - 1916
Date Published2013/01/01

We show that ultracold polar molecules pinned in an optical lattice can be
used to access a variety of exotic spin models, including the Kitaev honeycomb
model. Treating each molecule as a rigid rotor, we use DC electric and
microwave fields to define superpositions of rotational levels as effective
spin degrees of freedom, while dipole-dipole interactions give rise to
interactions between the spins. In particular, we show that, with sufficient
microwave control, the interaction between two spins can be written as a sum of
five independently controllable Hamiltonian terms proportional to the five
rank-2 spherical harmonics Y_{2,q}(theta,phi), where (theta,phi) are the
spherical coordinates of the vector connecting the two molecules. To
demonstrate the potential of this approach beyond the simplest examples studied
in [S. R. Manmana et al., arXiv:1210.5518v2], we focus on the realization of
the Kitaev honeycomb model, which can support exotic non-Abelian anyonic
excitations. We also discuss the possibility of generating spin Hamiltonians
with arbitrary spin S, including those exhibiting SU(N=2S+1) symmetry.

Short TitleMolecular Physics