Preparation and spectroscopy of a metastable Mott-insulator state with attractive interactions


We prepare and study a metastable attractive Mott-insulator state formed with bosonic atoms in a three-dimensional optical lattice. Starting from a Mott insulator with Cs atoms at weak repulsive interactions, we use a magnetic Feshbach resonance to tune the interactions to large attractive values and produce a metastable state pinned by attractive interactions with a lifetime on the order of 10 s. We probe the (de) excitation spectrum via lattice modulation spectroscopy, measuring the interaction dependence of two-and three-body bound-state energies. As a result of increased on-site three-body loss we observe resonance broadening and suppression of tunneling processes that produce three-body occupation.

Physical Review Letters