High-temperature pairing in a strongly interacting two-dimensional Fermi gas

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Abstract

The nature of the normal phase of strongly correlated fermionic systems is an outstanding question in quantum many-body physics. We used spatially resolved radio-frequency spectroscopy to measure pairing energy of fermions across a wide range of temperatures and interaction strengths in a two-dimensional gas of ultracold fermionic atoms. We observed many-body pairing at temperatures far above the critical temperature for superfluidity. In the strongly interacting regime, the pairing energy in the normal phase considerably exceeds the intrinsic two-body binding energy of the system and shows a clear dependence on local density. This implies that pairing in this regime is driven by many-body correlations, rather than two-body physics. Our findings show that pairing correlations in strongly interacting two-dimensional fermionic systems are remarkably robust against thermal fluctuations.

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