Istituto dei materiali per l'elettronica ed il magnetismo     
Koch M., Rehbein S., Schmahl G., Reisinger T., Bracco G., Ernst W. E., Holst B. Imaging with neutral atoms - a new matter wave microscope. In: Journal of Microscopy-Oxford, vol. 229 pp. 1 - 5. Wiley, 2007.
Matter-wave microscopy can be dated back to 1932 when Max Knoll and Ernst Ruska published the first image obtained with a beam of focussed electrons. In this paper a new step in the development of matter-wave microscopy is presented. We have created an instrumentwhere a focussed beam of neutral, ground-state atoms (helium) is used to image a sample. We present the first 2D images obtained using this new technique. Theimagedsampleisafree-standinghexagonal coppergrating (withaperiod ofabout36μmandrod thickness ofabout8μm). The images were obtained in transmission mode by scanning the focussedbeam,whichhadaminimumspot sizeofabout2.0 μmindiameter(fullwidthat halfmaximum)acrossthesample. The smallest focus achievedwas 1.9±0.1 μm. The resolution for this experimentwas limited by the speed ratio of the atomic beam through the chromatic aberrations of the zone plate that was used to focus. Ultimately the theoretical resolution limit is set by the wavelength of the probing particle. In praxis, the resolution is limited by the source and the focussing optics.
URL: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/119393062/abstract
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2818.2007.01874.x
Subject Atom optics
zone plate.
39.10.+j Atomic and molecular beam sources and techniques

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