The Wave Nature of Biomolecules and Fluorofullerenes

Author(s): L. Hackermüller, S. Uttenthaler, K. Hornberger, E. Reiger, B. Brezger, A. Zeilinger, M. Arndt

Journal: Physical Review Letters

Volume: 91

Page(s): 090408

Year: 2003

DOI Number: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.91.090408

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We demonstrate quantum interference for tetraphenylporphyrin, the first biomolecule exhibiting wave nature, and for the fluorofullerene C60F48 using a near-field Talbot-Lau interferometer. For the porphyrins, which are distinguished by their low symmetry and their abundant occurrence in organic systems, we find the theoretically expected maximal interference contrast and its expected dependence on the de Broglie wavelength. For C60F48, the observed fringe visibility is below the expected value, but the high contrast still provides good evidence for the quantum character of the observed fringe pattern. The fluorofullerenes therefore set the new mark in complexity and mass (1632 amu) for de Broglie wave experiments, exceeding the previous mass record by a factor of 2.

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