Measurement of atomic diffraction phases induced by material gratings

John D. Perreault, Alexander D. Cronin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Atom-surface interactions can significantly modify the intensity and phase of atom de Broglie waves diffracted by a silicon nitride grating. This affects the operation of a material grating as a coherent beam splitter. The phase shifts induced by diffraction are measured by comparing the relative phases of several interfering paths in a Mach-Zehnder Na atom interferometer formed by three material gratings. The values of the diffraction phases are consistent with a simple model which includes a van der Waals atom-surface interaction between the Na atoms and the silicon nitride grating bars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number033610
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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