Welcome to the “Quantum Optics – Atoms” group, led by Antoine Browaeys. We are part of the Laboratoire Charles Fabry (UMR 8501 of CNRS) at Institut d’Optique.

Our research focuses on experimental studies of the effects of dipole-dipole interactions in strongly correlated systems of a few atoms. 

Job offers (september 2022): We are looking for  two post-docs (see offer for our new Dy project). Interested candidates should contact Antoine BrowaeysIgor Ferrier-Barbut or Thierry Lahaye.


2 March 2023: Our latest paper on the Rydberg setup, entitled Continuous Symmetry Breaking in a Two-dimensional Rydberg Array, is now published in Nature! Check it out here!

7 September 2022: A short ‘Features’ article written by Thierry and Daniel, about “Quantum simulation and computing with arrays of single Rydberg atoms”, appears in Europhysics News.

1 September 2022: Jamie Boyd, from the University of Oklahoma, joins us for her one-year predoctoral internship in our group. Welcome, Jamie!

18 August 2022: On the cryogenic setup, we have developed a new way to equalize large tweezers arrays, and used it to assemble defect-free arrays with more than 320 atoms! Have a look at  Phys. Rev. A 106, 022611 (2022) for details.

324 atoms

5 April 2022: Our work on Floquet engineering of tunable XXZ Hamiltonians is now published! Check it out: Phys. Rev. X Quantum 3, 020303 (2022).

24 March 2022: Kai-Niklas defends his PhD, sucessfully of course! Congratulations,
Dr. Schymik!

18 January 2022: And now Antoine is a doctor too, Congratulations!

6 December 2021: Pascal successfully defends his PhD. Congratulations, Dr. Scholl!

September 25th, 2021: Again some changes in the group this week: On the one hand, Sara and Florian leave the group after their internships with us. Danke Florian, grazie Sara! All the best for the future! On the other hand, we welcome back Sam Cohen, who had stayed with us two years ago already and will work for one year on the new Dy setup before going back to the US for his PhD. Welcome back, Sam!

September 7th, 2021: We publish in Phys. Rev. Applied 16, 034013 (2021) our first results on the cryogenic setup. The lifetime of single atoms in tweezers at 4K exceeds 6000 s! A great achievement for Kai, who is starting to write up his thesis, and also Sara’s first published paper!

September 1st, 2021: Some changes in the group today… Hannah leaves the team to start her own group at Durham University, where she has been hired as an Assistant Professor. We wish you all the best for this new adventure, Hannah! At the same time, Dr. Cheng  Chen joins us for a post-doc on the Rydberg experiment. Welcome, Cheng!

July 2021: Our paper “Quantum simulation of 2D antiferromagnets with hundreds of Rydberg atoms ” is now published! Check it out: Nature 595, 233 (2021)

May 2021: Our paper on subradiance has been published in Phys. Rev. X. And it is the subject of a nice viewpoint in Physics by Ana Asenjo-Garcia! 

April 2021: Two new interns join the Rydberg project: Florian Wallner, visiting from TU München, and Gabriel Emperauger, for his Master ICFP internship! Welcome to them both!

March 2021: Antoine Browaeys is awarded the prestigious CNRS Silver Medal. Congratulations Antoine!

March 2021: two papers on our light scattering project have been accepted. One in Phys. Rev. X on subradiance and the other one in Phys. Rev. A on the description of an upgrade of the setup

February 2021: Sara Pancaldi from Florence joins us for a Master project. She is working with Kai on our project aiming at cryogenic trapping of atoms in tweezer arrays. Welcome Sara!

10 December 2020: Our paper “Enhanced atom-by-atom assembly of arbitrary tweezers arrays” (arXiv:2011.06827) is now published in Phys. Rev. A. 102, 063107 (2020), and was selected as an Editors’ suggestion. It’s also Kai’s first published paper!

Editor suggestion PRA

21 November 2020: Our paper “Enhanced atom-by-atom assembly of arbitrary tweezers arrays” (arXiv:2011.06827) has been accepted for publiction in Phys. Rev. A.

1 October 2020: Guillaume Bornet joins the group for his PhD. He will work on the Rydberg project. Welcome, Guillaume!

25 June 2020: Our first light scattering paper in arrays using our four aspheric lens setup: “Collective  shift in resonant light scattering by a one-dimensional atomic chain” is now published in Phys. Rev. Lett. 124, 253602 (2020)!

8 May 2020: Our paper “Realization of a density-dependent Peierls phase in a synthetic, spin-orbit coupled Rydberg system” is now published in Phys. Rev. X 10, 021031 (2020)!

20 january 2020: Our review article “Many-body physics with individually controlled Rydberg atoms” has appeared in Nature Physics. See also the arXiv version.

16 January 2020: Our paper on Rydberg trapping is published in PRL and highlighted by an Editor’s suggestion and a Physics Synopsis!

Screenshot_2020-01-16 Physical Review Letters - Highlights

02 January 2020: Dr Giovanni Ferioli joins the group as a post-doc. He will work on our light scattering project. A nice breeze of fresh air from Italy! Welcome

18 December 2019: Vincent successfully defends his PhD. Congratulations, Dr. Lienhard!

9 December 2019: Our paper about Rydberg trapping is accepted for publication in Phys. Rev. Lett.!

14 October 2019: Dr. Hannah Williams joins the group as a post-doc. She will be working on the Rydberg setup. Welcome, Hannah!

02 October 2019: Tom Peyrot defended his PhD today, successfully of course! Congratulations, Tom, and all the best for your new adventures!

01 August 2019: Tom’s and Nikola’s paper on “Measurement of the atom-surface van der Waals interaction by transmission spectroscopy in a wedged cell” appeared in Phys. Rev. A today.

01 August 2019: Our paper Observation of a symmetry-protected topological phase of interacting bosons with Rydberg atoms is now published online (‘First Release’) in Science!

04 April 2019: Tom’s and Yvan’s paper on the fabrication of super-polished nano-cells appeared in Optics Letters.

20 March 2019: Tom’s paper on “Optical transmission of an atomic vapor in the mesoscopic regime” that we wrote with our colleagues in Durham (UK), Erevan and Jean-Jacques Greffet at the Institut d’Optique has now appeared in Phys. Rev. Lett.

28-29 January 2019: the kick-off meeting of the European Quantum Flagship project PASQUANS that we coordinate with Immanuel Bloch at the MPQ für Quanten Optiks took place in Garching.

17 December 2018: Eric Magnan defended his PhD work today! Congratulations, Dr. Magnan, and all the best for your future career!

10 December 2018: Sylvain de Léséleuc defended his PhD work, successfully of course! Congratulations, Dr. de Léséleuc 😉

5 november 2018: Kai-Niklas Schymik from Heidelberg has joined our group as a PhD student to work on our project on Rydberg atoms in a cryostat. Welcome to France Kai!

1 November 2018: Check out the new preprint from the Rydberg lab: arXiv:1810.13286. We use Rydberg atoms to implement a version of the SSH model for hard-core bosons, thus realizing a symmetry-protected topological phase.

1 October 2018: Igor Ferrier-Barbut joins the group as a CNRS researcher. Welcome, Igor!

6 September 2018: Our 3D paper is now published in Nature 561, 79 (2018).

18 June 2018: Our paperObserving the Space- and Time-Dependent Growth of Correlations in Dynamically Tuned Synthetic Ising Models with Antiferromagnetic Interactions”, in collaboration with our theory colleagues from Innsbruck, is now published in Phys. Rev. X ! Kaden Hazzard writes nice a Physics Viewpoint about these results.

Screenshot-2018-6-19 Physical Review X - Recent Articles

12 June 2018: Our paper on the measurement of the Collective Lamb Shift in a nanocell performed in collaboration with our colleagues at the university of Durham and Erevan is now published in Phys. Rev. Lett. as an Editor’s suggestion.


15 May 2018: Our paper on the study of near-resonance, coherent light scattering by a dense microsopic cloud of cold atoms has just been published in Phys. Rev. A.

3 May 2018: Our new paper is now published in Phys. Rev. A as an Editors’ suggestion!

Screenshot-2018-5-3 Physical Review A

January-March 2018: We start working on a new setup. Here are the highlights of the first weeks…

16 March 2018: Our paper “Accurate Mapping of Multilevel Rydberg Atoms on Interacting Spin-1/2 Particles for the Quantum Simulation of Ising Models“, written in collaboration with our theory colleagues S. Weber and H.-P. Büchler from Stuttgart, is now published in Phys. Rev. Lett!

3 January 2018: Tom Peyrot, who did the first part of his PhD in Durham (UK) at the JQC with Charles Adams, is back to the Institut d’Optique for the end of his PhD. Eric Magnan, who did the first part of his PhD at the University of Maryland (USA) at the JQI with Trey Porto, is also back in Palaiseau. Tom, Eric, welcome!

7 December 2017: Our new paper about full-loaded 3D arrays of single atoms is out on the preprint server (arxiv:1712.02727). Here is an example of structure we can build:


1 November 2017: David Larrousserie writes in Le Monde about our research (read the article).

October 2017: Our colleague and friend Matthias Weidemüller from Heidelberg writes about our research in a nice article in the October 2017 issue of Physik Journal (the magazine of the DPG, the German Physics Society).

2 August 2017: Our addressing paper is appears in Phys. Rev. Lett. and is selected as an Editor’s suggestion!


July 2017: Vincent won one of the Best Poster Awards at the International Conference on Laser Spectroscopy 2017, held in Arcachon, and also at YAO 2017, held in Paris. Congratulations, Vincent!

10 May 2017: We post on the preprint server our latest paper : arXiv:1705.03293. We use an addressing beam at 1005 nm to selectively ligthshift a Rydebrg state and thus control at will the resonant dipole-dipole interaction between two atoms.

1 Februrary 2017: Henning Labuhn receives one of the EDOM thesis prizes. Congratulations, Henning!

3 December 2016: Our atom-assembler paper is published in Science!

11 July 2016: We post on the arXiv our manuscript “An atom-by-atom assembler of defect-free arbitrary 2d atomic arrays”. The image below should be enough to describe the main point of the paper:


For more details, see arXiv:1607.030042.

21 April 2016: Our paper “Tunable two-dimensional arrays of single Rydberg atoms
for realizing quantum Ising models” has just been accepted for publication in Nature!

15 March 2016: We welcome two new group members for their Master intership. Tom Peyrot will work on a the ultralow rugosity Rb cell, while Ludovic Brossard will work on the nano-cloud experiment. Welcome, Tom and Ludovic!

26 February 2016: Henning Labuhn defends his PhD. Successfully, of course… Congratulations, Herr Dr. Labuhn!

10 January 2016: Vincent Lienhard joins the group for his Masters’ internship. He will be working on the Rydberg project. Welcome, Vincent!