Volume 143, Number 2, July 2023
|Number of page(s)
|Atomic, molecular and optical physics
|11 July 2023
Injection and nucleation of topological defects in the quench dynamics of the Frenkel-Kontorova model
1 Institut für Physik, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz - D-55099 Mainz, Germany
2 Theoretische Physik, Universität des Saarlandes - D-66123 Saarbrücken, Germany
(a) E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (corresponding author)
Received: 14 April 2023
Accepted: 28 June 2023
Topological defects have strong impact on both elastic and inelastic properties of materials. In this article, we investigate the possibility to controllably inject topological defects in quantum simulators of solid state lattice structures. We investigate the quench dynamics of a Frenkel-Kontorova chain, which is used to model discommensurations of particles in cold atoms and trapped ionic crystals. The interplay between an external periodic potential and the inter-particle interaction makes lattice discommensurations, the topological defects of the model, energetically favorable and can tune a commensurate-incommensurate structural transition. Our key finding is that a quench from the commensurate to incommensurate phase causes a controllable injection of topological defects at periodic time intervals. We employ this mechanism to generate quantum states which are a superposition of lattice structures with and without topological defects. We conclude by presenting concrete perspectives for the observation and control of topological defects in trapped ion experiments.
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