Interaction-induced escape from an Aharonov-Bohm cage

Publication Year


Journal Article

Advances in quantum engineering have enabled the design, measurement, and precise control of synthetic condensed matter systems. The platform of superconducting circuits offers two particular capabilities: flexible connectivity of circuit elements that enables a variety of lattice geometries, and circuit nonlinearity that provides access to strongly interacting physics. Separately, these features have allowed for the creation of curved-space lattices and the realization of strongly correlated phases and dynamics in one-dimensional chains and square lattices. Missing in this suite of simulations is the simultaneous integration of interacting particles into lattices with unique band dispersions, such as dispersionless flat bands. An ideal building block for flat-band physics is the Aharonov-Bohm cage: a single plaquette of a lattice whose band structure consists entirely of flat bands. Here, we experimentally construct an Aharonov-Bohm cage and observe the localization of a single photon, the hallmark of all-bands-flat physics. Upon placing an interaction-bound photon pair into the cage, we see a delocalized walk indicating an escape from Aharonov-Bohm caging. We further find that a variation of caging persists for two particles initialized on opposite sites of the cage. These results mark the first experimental work where interacting particles circumvent an Aharonov-Bohm cage and establish superconducting circuits for studies of flat-band-lattice dynamics with strong interactions.