Zero-order filter for diffractive focusing of de Broglie matter waves

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The manipulation of neutral atoms and molecules via their de Broglie wave properties, also referred to asde Broglie matter wave optics, is relevant for several fields ranging from fundamental quantum mechanics testsand quantum metrology to measurements of interaction potentials and new imaging techniques. However, there are several challenges. For example, for diffractive focusing elements, the zero-order beam provides a challenge because it decreases the signal contrast. Here we present the experimental realization of a zero-order filter, also referred to as an order-sorting aperture for de Broglie matter wave diffractive focusing elements. The zero-order filter makes it possible to measure even at low beam intensities. We present measurements of zero-order filtered, focused, neutral helium beams generated at source stagnation pressures between 11 and 81 bars. We show that for certain conditions the atom focusing at lower source stagnation pressures (broader velocity distributions) is better than what has previously been predicted. We present simulations with the software ray-tracing simulation package MCSTAS using a realistic helium source configuration, which gives very good agreement with our measurements.
Original languageEnglish
Article number023618
JournalPhysical Review A
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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©2017 American Physical Society

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