Efficient two-port electron beam splitter via a quantum interaction-free measurement

Yujia Yang, Chung Soo Kim, Richard G. Hobbs, Pieter Kruit, Karl K. Berggren

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)
    9 Downloads (Pure)


    Semitransparent mirrors are standard elements in light optics for splitting light beams or creating two versions of the same image. Such mirrors do not exist in electron optics, although they could be beneficial in existing techniques such as electron interferometry and holography and could enable alternative electron imaging and spectroscopy techniques. We propose a design for an electron beam splitter using the concept of quantum interaction-free measurement (IFM). The design combines an electron resonator with a weak phase grating. Fast switching gates allow electrons to enter and exit the resonator. While in the resonator, the phase grating transfers intensity from the direct beam into one of the weakly diffracted beams at each pass. To make the beam splitter an efficient two-port splitter, the intensity in all other diffracted beams is blocked by an aperture. The IFM principle minimizes the loss of total intensity by this aperture. We use a scattering matrix method to analyze the performance of the beam splitter, including the effects of inelastic scattering in the phase grating. This design can be generalized to beam splitters for not only electrons, but also photons, neutrons, atoms, and other quantum mechanical systems.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number043621
    JournalPhysical Review A
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2018

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