We report on the controlled creation of a valence bond state of delocalized effective-spin singlet and triplet dimers by means of a bichromatic optical superlattice. We demonstrate a coherent coupling between the singlet and triplet states and show how the superlattice can be employed to measure the singlet-fraction employing a spin-blockade effect. Our method provides a reliable way to detect and control nearest-neighbor spin correlations in many-body systems of ultracold atoms. Being able to measure these correlations is an important ingredient in studying quantum magnetism in optical lattices. We furthermore employ a SWAP operation between atoms which are part of different triplets, thus effectively increasing their bond-length. Such a SWAP operation provides an important step towards the massively parallel creation of a multiparticle entangled state in the lattice.
- Received 13 September 2010
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