Double-slit experiment with a polyatomic molecule: Vibrationally resolved C 1s photoelectron spectra of acetylene

L. Argenti, T. D. Thomas, E. Plésiat, X. J. Liu, C. Miron, T. Lischke, G. Prümper, K. Sakai, T. Ouchi, R. Püttner, V. Sekushin, T. Tanaka, M. Hoshino, H. Tanaka, P. Decleva, K. Ueda, F. Martín

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


We report the first evidence for double-slit interferences in a polyatomic molecule, which we have observed in the experimental carbon 1s photoelectron spectra of acetylene (or ethyne). The spectra have been measured over the photon energy range of 310-930 eV and show prominent oscillations in the intensity ratios σ g(u)/ σ u (u) for the vibrational quantum numbers u = 0, 1 and for the ratios σ s (u = 1)/ σ s(u = 0) for the symmetry s = g, u. The experimental findings are in very good agreement with ab initio density functional theory (DFT) calculations and are compatible with the Cohen-Fano mechanism of coherent emission from two equivalent atomic centers. This interpretation is supported by the qualitative predictions of a simple model in which the effect of nuclear recoil is taken into account to the lowest order. Our results confirm the delocalized character of the core hole created in the primary photoionization event and demonstrate that intramolecular core-hole coherence can survive the decoherent influence associated with the asymmetric nuclear degrees of freedom which are characteristic of polyatomic molecules.

Original languageEnglish
Article number033012
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Mar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Double-slit experiment with a polyatomic molecule: Vibrationally resolved C 1s photoelectron spectra of acetylene'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this