The interaction of Na atoms with a surface was probed by inserting a nanofabricated material grating into one arm of an atom interferometer (IFM). This technique permits a direct measurement of the change in phase and coherence of matter waves as they pass within 25 nm of the grating bar surface. The practical concerns and challenges of making such a measurement are discussed here. Interference of spurious diffraction orders, IFM path overlap, and the partial obscuration of IFM beams are all important aspects of this experiment. The systematic effects that contribute to the measured phase shift and contrast are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)