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Spatial separation in a thermal mixture of ultracold174Yb and 87Rb atoms



F. Baumer, F. Munchow, A. Gorlitz, Stephen Maxwell, Paul S. Julienne, Eite Tiesinga


We report on the observation of unusually strong interactions in a thermal mixture of ultracold atoms which cause a significant modification of the spatial distribution. A mixture of 87Rb and 174Yb with a temperature of a few μK is prepared in a hybrid trap consisting of a bichromatic optical potential superimposed on a magnetic trap. For suitable trap parameters and temperatures, a spatial separation of the two species is observed. We infer that the separation is driven by a large interaction strength between 174Yb and 87Rb and a correspondingly large three-body recombination rate. A diffusion model of the spatial separation supports this conclusion.
Physical Review A


ultracold atoms, ultracold collisions, diffusion, phase separation, three-body recombination


Baumer, F. , Munchow, F. , Gorlitz, A. , Maxwell, S. , Julienne, P. and Tiesinga, E. (2011), Spatial separation in a thermal mixture of ultracold174Yb and 87Rb atoms, Physical Review A, [online],, (Accessed May 26, 2024)


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Created April 20, 2011, Updated October 12, 2021