• Tunneling states;
  • Rotary echoes;
  • Isotope effect


The tunneling of two lithium ion impurities on next-nearest neighbor sites in potassium chloride are investigated both experimentally and theoretically. The strong dipolar interaction leads to coherent tunneling motion of the two defect ions between degenerate off-center positions. Comparing data of rotary echo experiments for impurity pairs 7Li—7Li, 6Li—6Li, and 7Li—6Li with theory permits a thorough investigation of the isotope effect and of the effect of the interaction on the tunnel states. Our findings confirm the tunneling model with <111> off-center states to be valid even for strongly interacting impurities. Using degenerate perturbation theory in terms of two-particle states, we obtain essentially exact expressions for the tunneling spectrum and the dynamical susceptibility which agree well with the measured data.