Coherent diffraction of hydrogen through the 246 pm lattice of graphene

Christian Brand (Corresponding author), Maxime Debiossac, Toma Susi, François Aguillon, Jani Kotakoski, Philippe Roncin, Markus Arndt

Publications: Contribution to journalArticlePeer Reviewed

Abstract

We study the diffraction of neutral hydrogen atoms through suspended single-layer graphene using molecular dynamics simulations based on density functional theory. Although the atoms have to overcome a transmission barrier, we find that the de Broglie wave function for Hat 80 eV has a high probability to be coherently transmitted through about 18% of the graphene area, contrary to the case of He. We propose an experiment to realize the diffraction of atoms at the natural hexagon lattice period of 246 pm, leading to a more than 400-fold increase in beam separation of the coherently split atomic wave function compared to diffraction experiments at state-of-the art nano-machined masks. We expect this unusual wide coherent beam splitting to give rise to novel applications in atom interferometry.

Original languageEnglish
Article number033004
Number of pages8
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Volume21
Issue number3
Early online date11 Feb 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2019

Austrian Fields of Science 2012

  • 103018 Materials physics

Keywords

  • 1ST PRINCIPLES
  • 2D materials
  • ATOMS
  • COLLISIONS
  • GRAPHITE
  • INTERFEROMETER
  • IONS
  • MOLECULAR-DYNAMICS SIMULATION
  • PHOTON
  • RAYS
  • SCATTERING
  • atomic interference
  • density functional theory
  • matter-wave diffraction

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