Scientists make holograms of atoms using electrons



This velocity map image shows the velocity distribution of ionized electrons, which are used to create a hologram of a Xenon atom

While holography is often associated with artistic 3D images, it can also be used for many other purposes. In a new study, scientists have created holograms of atoms using laser-driven electron motion, which could lead to a new type of ultra-fast photoelectron spectroscopy. In the future, this type of holography could enable scientists to study the structures of molecules in a more direct way than before.

The scientists, Ymkje Huismans from the FOM-Institute AMOLF in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and an international research team have published their study in a recent issue of Science Express.“What we have experimentally demonstrated is that it is possible to make holograms by taking an electron out of a molecule and, using a laser field, redirect the electron toward the molecule,” coauthor Marc Vrakking, of the FOM-Institute AMOLF and the Max Born Institute in Berlin, told their experiments, the scientists beamed an intense infrared laser light at an atom or molecule, which resulted in the atom or molecule becoming ionized and releasing an electron. The laser field causes the liberated electron to oscillate away from and toward the ion. Sometimes, an electron and ion collide, releasing a very short burst of radiation

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