OTIMA interferometry

We demonstrate the OTIMA (optical time-domain matter-wave) interferometer [1]. In OTIMA the quantum wave nature of many different particles can be revealed and explored. The setup uses three standing light waves as diffraction elements. These light structures consist of 157 nm laser pulses which form an all-optical Talbot-Lau-interferometer in the time-domain. Successful proof of principle experiments with anthracene clusters demonstrated the functionality of the setup [1].

Beside of finding evidence for the wave-particle duality of increasingly massive and complex particles, as it had already been done for Electrons, Atoms and even Molecules with masses up to 10.000 amu [2], we use the high sensitivity of OTIMA to external perturbations to extract a variety of interesting molecular properties for biologically relevant molecules as well as tailor-made and functionalized proteins and peptides. This opens a wide field of research at the interdisciplinary interface between quantum optics and chemical physics.


  • [1] Haslinger P., Dörre N., Geyer P., Rodewald J., Nimmrichter S., Arndt M.
         A universal matter-wave interferometer with optical ionization gratings in the time domain

    Nat. Phys. 9, 144 (2013).
  • [2] Eibenberger S., Gerlich S., Arndt M., Mayor M., Tüxen J.
         Matter-wave interference with particles selected from a molecular library with masses exceeding 10 000 amu

    Phys. Chem. 15, 14696 (2013).