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S. Gerlich, L. Hackermüller, K. Hornberger, A. Stibor, H. Ulbricht, M. Gring, F. Goldfarb, T. Savas, M. Müri, M. Mayor, and M. Arndt
A Kapitza-Dirac-Talbot-Lau interferometer for highly polarizable molecules
Nature Phys. 3, 711-715 (2007)


Research on matter waves is a thriving field of quantum physics and has recently stimulated many investigations with electrons, neutrons, atoms, Bose-condensed ensembles, cold clusters and hot molecules. Coherence experiments with complex objects are of interest for exploring the transition to classical physics, for measuring molecular properties, and they have even been proposed for testing new models of space-time. For matter-wave experiments with complex molecules, the strongly dispersive effect of the interaction between the diffracted molecule and the grating wall is a major challenge because it imposes enormous constraints on the velocity selection of the molecular beam. Here, we describe the first experimental realization of a new set-up that solves this problem by combining the advantages of a so-called Talbot-Lau interferometer with the benefits of an optical phase grating.

(5 pages, 4 figures)

[journal, eprint arXiv:0802.3287, pdf available upon request]

doi:10.1038/nphys701                    (c) Nature Publishing Group

see also: Research Highlights, Nature 448, 842 (2007)