Observation of Quantum-Limited Spin Transport in Strongly Interacting Two-Dimensional Fermi Gases

Phys Rev Lett. 2017 Mar 31;118(13):130405. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.118.130405. Epub 2017 Mar 31.


We measure the transport properties of two-dimensional ultracold Fermi gases during transverse demagnetization in a magnetic field gradient. Using a phase-coherent spin-echo sequence, we are able to distinguish bare spin diffusion from the Leggett-Rice effect, in which demagnetization is slowed by the precession of a spin current around the local magnetization. When the two-dimensional scattering length is tuned to be comparable to the inverse Fermi wave vector k_{F}^{-1}, we find that the bare transverse spin diffusivity reaches a minimum of 1.7(6)ℏ/m, where m is the bare particle mass. The rate of demagnetization is also reflected in the growth rate of the s-wave contact, observed using time-resolved spectroscopy. The contact rises to 0.28(3)k_{F}^{2} per particle, which quantifies how scaling symmetry is broken by near-resonant interactions, unlike in unitary three-dimensional systems. Our observations support the conjecture that, in systems with strong scattering, the local relaxation rate is bounded from above by k_{B}T/ℏ.