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

Abstract:

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.

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