Direct observation of Young's double-slit interferences in vibrationally resolved photoionization of diatomic molecules.

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Vibrationally resolved valence-shell photoionization spectra of H(2), N(2) and CO have been measured in the photon energy range 20-300 eV using third-generation synchrotron radiation. Young's double-slit interferences lead to oscillations in the corresponding vibrational ratios, showing that the molecules behave as two-center electron-wave emitters and that the associated interferences leave their trace in the angle-integrated photoionization cross section. In contrast to previous work, the oscillations are directly observable in the experiment, thereby removing any possible ambiguity related to the introduction of external parameters or fitting functions. A straightforward extension of an original idea proposed by Cohen and Fano [Cohen HD, Fano U (1966) Phys Rev 150:30] confirms this interpretation and shows that it is also valid for diatomic heteronuclear molecules. Results of accurate theoretical calculations are in excellent agreement with the experimental findings.


  • Sophie Canton
  • Etienne Plésiat
  • John D Bozek
  • Bruce S Rude
  • Piero Decleva
  • Fernando Martín
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Physical Sciences
  • Natural Sciences
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7302-7306
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Publication categoryResearch