Diffraction of fast metastable atoms by micrometric reflection gratings
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Diffraction of thermal velocity metastable atoms by non-magnetic and magnetic reflection gratings of micrometric period has been observed. This observation is made possible by the use of an ultra narrow beam generated by metastability exchange. Grazing incidence angles are exploited to minimise the quenching of metastable atoms on the grating surface. Potential applications are beam splitting, atom holography and probing of micro-sized solid surfaces.
PACS.03.75.-b Matter waves 68.49.Bc Atom scattering from surfaces (diffraction and energy transfer) 75.70.Rf Surface magnetism
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