Quantum superposition of molecules beyond 25 kDa

Fein, Yaakov Y. and Geyer, Philipp and Zwick, Patrick and Kialka, Filip and Pedalino, Sebastian and Mayor, Marcel and Gerlich, Stefan and Arndt, Markus. (2019) Quantum superposition of molecules beyond 25 kDa. Nature Physics, 15 (12). pp. 1242-1245.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/75500/

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Matter-wave interference experiments provide a direct confirmation of the quantum superposition principle, a hallmark of quantum theory, and thereby constrain possible modifications to quantum mechanics(1). By increasing the mass of the interfering particles and the macroscopicity of the superposition(2), more stringent bounds can be placed on modified quantum theories such as objective collapse models(3). Here, we report interference of a molecular library of functionalized oligoporphyrins(4) with masses beyond 25,000 Da and consisting of up to 2,000 atoms, by far the heaviest objects shown to exhibit matter-wave interference to date. We demonstrate quantum superposition of these massive particles by measuring interference fringes in a new 2-m-long Talbot-Lau interferometer that permits access to a wide range of particle masses with a large variety of internal states. The molecules in our study have de Broglie wavelengths down to 53fm, five orders of magnitude smaller than the diameter of the molecules themselves. Our results show excellent agreement with quantum theory and cannot be explained classically. The interference fringes reach more than 90% of the expected visibility and the resulting macroscopicity value of 14.1 represents an order of magnitude increase over previous experiments(2).
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Chemie > Chemie > Molecular Devices and Materials (Mayor)
UniBasel Contributors:Mayor, Marcel and Zwick, Patrick
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:07 Feb 2023 10:27
Deposited On:21 Feb 2020 13:07

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