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Resonant inelastic x-ray incarnation of Young's double-slit experiment

Journal article
Authors A. Revelli
M. M. Sala
G. Monaco
P. Becker
L. Bohaty
Maria Hermanns
T. C. Koethe
T. Frohlich
P. Warzanowski
T. Lorenz
S. V. Streltsov
P. H. M. van Loosdrecht
D. I. Khomskii
J. van den Brink
M. Gruninger
Published in Science Advances
Volume 5
Issue 1
ISSN 2375-2548
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Physics (GU)
Language en
Keywords scattering, physics, Science & Technology - Other Topics, lmukhanov
Subject categories Physical Sciences


Young's archetypal double-slit experiment forms the basis for modern diffraction techniques: The elastic scattering of waves yields an interference pattern that captures the real-space structure. Here, we report on an inelastic incarnation of Young's experiment and demonstrate that resonant inelastic x-ray scattering (RIXS) measures interference patterns, which reveal the symmetry and character of electronic excited states in the same way as elastic scattering does for the ground state. A prototypical example is provided by the quasi-molecular electronic structure of insulating Ba3CeIr2O9 with structural Ir dimers and strong spin-orbit coupling. The double "slits" in this resonant experiment are the highly localized core levels of the two Ir atoms within a dimer. The clear double-slit-type sinusoidal interference patterns that we observe allow us to characterize the electronic excitations, demonstrating the power of RIXS interferometry to unravel the electronic structure of solids containing, e.g., dimers, trimers, ladders, or other superstructures.

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