We explore a way of producing the Rashba spin-orbit coupling (SOC) for ultracold atoms by using a two-component (spinor) atomic Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) confined in a bilayer geometry. The SOC of the Rashba type is created if the atoms pick up a π phase after completing a cyclic transition between four combined spin-layer states composed of two spin and two layer states. The cyclic coupling of the spin-layer states is carried out by combining an intralayer Raman coupling and an interlayer laser assisted tunneling. We theoretically determine the ground-state phases of the spin-orbit-coupled BEC for various strengths of the atom-atom interaction and the laser-assisted coupling. It is shown that the bilayer scheme provides a diverse ground-state phase diagram. In an intermediate range of the atom-light coupling two interlacing lattices of half-skyrmions and half-antiskyrmions are spontaneously created. In the strong-coupling regime, where the SOC of the Rashba type is formed, the ground state represents plane-wave or standing-wave phases depending on the interaction between the atoms. A variational analysis is shown to be in good agreement with the numerical results.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics