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Phys Rev Lett. 2002 Mar 11;88(10):100404. Epub 2002 Feb 26.

Matter-wave interferometer for large molecules.

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  • 1Universität Wien, Institut für Experimentalphysik, Boltzmanngasse 5, A-1090 Wien, Austria.


We demonstrate a near-field Talbot-Lau interferometer for C70 fullerene molecules. Such interferometers are particularly suitable for larger masses. Using three free-standing gold gratings of 1 microm period and a transversally incoherent but velocity-selected molecular beam, we achieve an interference fringe visibility of 40% with high count rate. Both the high visibility and its velocity dependence are in good agreement with a quantum simulation that takes into account the van der Waals interaction of the molecules with the gratings and are in striking contrast to a classical moiré model.

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