Universal trimers induced by spin-orbit coupling in ultracold Fermi gases

Zhe-Yu Shi, Xiaoling Cui, Hui Zhai

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In this Letter we address the issue of how synthetic spin-orbit (SO) coupling can strongly affect three-body physics in ultracold atomic gases. We consider a system which consists of three fermionic atoms, including two spinless heavy atoms and one spin-1/2 light atom subjected to an isotropic SO coupling. We find that SO coupling can induce universal three-body bound states with a negative s-wave scattering length at a smaller mass ratio, where no trimer bound state can exist if in the absence of SO coupling. The energies of these trimers are independent of the high-energy cutoff, and therefore they are universal ones. Moreover, the resulting atom-dimer resonance can be effectively controlled by SO coupling strength. Our results can be applied to systems like a Li6 and K40 mixture.
Original languageEnglish
Article number013201
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes

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