Absolute Absorption Cross Sections from Photon Recoil in a Matter-Wave Interferometer

Author(s): S. Eibenberger, X. Cheng, J. P. Cotter, M. Arndt

Journal: Phys. Rev. Lett

Volume: 112

Page(s): 250402

Year: 2014

DOI Number: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.112.250402

Link: Link to publication


We measure the absolute absorption cross section of molecules using a matter-wave interferometer. A nanostructured density distribution is imprinted onto a dilute molecular beam through quantum interference. As the beam crosses the light field of a probe laser some molecules will absorb a single photon. These absorption events impart a momentum recoil which shifts the position of the molecule relative to the unperturbed beam. Averaging over the shifted and unshifted components within the beam leads to a reduction of the fringe visibility, enabling the absolute absorption cross section to be extracted with high accuracy. This technique is independent of the molecular density, it is minimally invasive and successfully eliminates many problems related to photon cycling, state mixing, photobleaching, photoinduced heating, fragmentation, and ionization. It can therefore be extended to a wide variety of neutral molecules, clusters, and nanoparticles.

Note: http://arxiv.org/abs/1402.5307

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