Diffraction of complex molecules by structures made of light

Olaf Nairz, Björn Brezger, Markus Arndt, Anton Zeilinger

    Publications: Contribution to journalArticlePeer Reviewed


    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.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number160401
    JournalPhysical Review Letters
    Issue number16
    Publication statusPublished - 2001

    Austrian Fields of Science 2012

    • 103026 Quantum optics

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