• Peer-Reviewed
Physical Review Letters · 1988

Diffraction of atoms by a transmission grating

D. W. Keith, M. L. Schattenburg, Henry I. Smith, and D. E. Pritchard

We have demonstrated a novel diffraction grating for atoms. A collimated beam of sodium atoms with a de Broglie wavelength of 17 pm was diffracted by transmission through an array of slits with a spatial period of 0.2 µm formed in a gold membrane. This is the first reported diffraction of atoms by a fabricated periodic structure. Our transmission grating for atoms can divide or recombine an atomic beam coherently, and may provide the easiest route to the realization of an atom wave interferometer.

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