Experimental challenges for high-mass matter-wave interference with nanoparticles

Publications: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract/Conference paperPeer Reviewed


e discuss recent advances towards matter-wave interference experiments with free beams of metallic and dielectric nanoparticles. They require a brilliant source, an efficient detection scheme and a coherent method to divide the de Broglie waves associated with these clusters: We describe an approach based on a magnetron sputtering source which ejects an intense cluster beam with a wide mass dispersion but a small velocity spread of Δv/v < 10%. The source is universal as it can be used with all conducting and many semiconducting or even insulating materials. Here we focus on metals and dielectrics with a low work function of the bulk and thus a low cluster ionization energy. This allows us to realize photoionization gratings as coherent matter-wave beam splitters and also to realize an efficient ionization detection scheme. These new methods are now combined in an upgraded Talbot-Lau interferometer with three 266 nm depletion gratings. We here describe the experimental boundary conditions and how to realize them in the lab. This next generation of near-field interferometers shall allow us to soon push the limits of matter-wave interference to masses up to 106 amu.
Original languageEnglish
Article number124470K
JournalProceedings of SPIE
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2023
EventSPIE Photonics West: Quantum Sensing, Imaging, and Precision Metrology - Moscone Center, San Francisco , United States
Duration: 28 Jan 20232 Feb 2023

Austrian Fields of Science 2012

  • 103026 Quantum optics


  • Optical gratings
  • Visibility
  • Quantum interferometry
  • Quantum interference
  • Molecular beams
  • Molecules
  • Diffraction gratings

Cite this