Diffraction of Complex Molecules by Structures Made of Light

Author(s): O. Nairz, B. Brezger, M. Arndt, A. Zeilinger

Journal: Physical Review Letters

Volume: 87

Page(s): 160401-1 - 401-4

Year: 2001

DOI Number: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.87.160401

Link: Link to publication


We demonstrate that structures made of light can be used to coherently control the motion of complex molecules. In particular, we show diffraction of the fullerenes C60 and C70 at a thin grating based on a standing light wave. We prove experimentally that the principles of this effect, well known from atom optics, can be successfully extended to massive and large molecules which are internally in a thermodynamic mixed state and which do not exhibit narrow optical resonances. Our results will be important for the observation of quantum interference with even larger and more complex objects.

File: Link to PDF

Arndt Group Arndt Group , Zeilinger Group