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Journal Article

Matter-Wave Diffraction from a Periodic Array of Half Planes


Schöllkopf,  Wieland
Molecular Physics, Fritz Haber Institute, Max Planck Society;

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Lee, J. H., Kim, L. Y., Kim, Y.-T., Lee, C. Y., Schöllkopf, W., & Zhao, B. S. (2019). Matter-Wave Diffraction from a Periodic Array of Half Planes. Physical Review Letters, 122(04): 040401. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.122.040401.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0002-B47E-6
We report on reflection and diffraction of beams of He and D2 from square-wave gratings of 400-μm period and strip widths ranging from 10 to 200 μm at grazing incidence conditions. In each case we observe fully resolved matter-wave diffraction patterns including the specular reflection and diffracted beams up to the ±2nd diffraction order. With decreasing strip width the observed diffraction efficiencies exhibit a transformation from the known regime of quantum reflection from the grating strips to the regime of edge diffraction from a half-plane array. The latter is described by a single-parameter model developed previously to describe phenomena as diverse as quantum billiards, scattering of radio waves in urban areas, and reflection of matter-waves from micro-structures. Our data provide experimental confirmation of the widespread model. Moreover, our results demonstrate that neither classical reflection nor quantum reflection are essential for reflective diffraction of matter-waves from a structured solid, but it can result exclusively from half-plane edge diffraction.