Unraveling the Structure of Ultracold Mesoscopic Collinear Molecular Ions
AbstractWe present an in-depth many-body investigation of the so-called mesoscopic molecular ions that can buildup when an ion is immersed into an atomic Bose-Einstein condensate in one dimension. To this end, we employ the multilayer multiconfiguration time-dependent Hartree method for mixtures of ultracold bosonic species for solving the underlying many-body Schrödinger equation. This enables us to unravel the actual structure of such massive charged molecules from a microscopic perspective. Laying out their phase diagram with respect to atom number and interatomic interaction strength, we determine the maximal number of atoms bound to the ion and reveal spatial densities and molecular properties. Interestingly, we observe a strong interaction-induced localization, especially for the ion, that we explain by the generation of a large effective mass, similarly to ions in liquid Helium. Finally, we predict the dynamical response of the ion to small perturbations. Our results provide clear evidence for the importance of quantum correlations, as we demonstrate by benchmarking them with wave function ansatz classes employed in the literature.