Volume 79, Number 1, July 2007
Article Number 10007
Number of page(s) 5
Section General
Published online 20 June 2007
EPL, 79 (2007) 10007
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/79/10007

Quantum resonances and rectification in ac-driven ratchets

S. Denisov1, 2, L. Morales-Molina2 and S. Flach2

1  Institut für Physik, Universität Augsburg - Universitätsstr.1, D-86135 Augsburg, Germany
2  Max-Planck-Institut für Physik Komplexer Systeme - Nöthnitzer Str. 38, 01187 Dresden, Germany

received 22 November 2006; accepted in final form 25 May 2007; published July 2007
published online 20 June 2007

Classical ratchets have been recently successfully realized using cold atoms in driven optical lattices. Here we study the current rectification of the motion of a quantum particle in a periodic potential exposed to an external ac field. The dc current appears due to the desymmetrization of Floquet eigenstates, which become transporting. Quantum dynamics enhances the dependence of the current on the initial phase of the driving field. By changing the laser field parameters which control the degree of space-time asymmetry, Floquet eigenstates are tuned through avoided crossings. These quantum resonances induce resonant changes of the resulting current. The width, strength and position of these quantum resonances are tunable using control parameters of the experimental realization with cold atoms.

05.45.Mt - Quantum chaos; semiclassical methods.
05.60.-k - Transport processes.
32.80.Pj - Optical cooling of atoms; trapping.

© Europhysics Letters Association 2007