Phase-stepping optical profilometry of atom mirrors

MacLaren, D.A. , Goldrein, H.T., Holst, B. and Allison, W. (2003) Phase-stepping optical profilometry of atom mirrors. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, 36(15), pp. 1842-1849. (doi: 10.1088/0022-3727/36/15/315)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.

Publisher's URL:


Electrically deformed single crystal mirrors will be a vital part of a first generation of scanning helium microscope (SHeM). Optimized mirrors will be used to focus thermal energy helium atoms into a surface-sensitive, low-energy probe, with a resolution that depends upon the precise mirror shape. Here, we present surface profilometry measurements of a prototype atom mirror. A temporal phase-stepping Mach-Zender fibre interferometer is used to profile the mirror surface with an accuracy of a few tens of nanometres. Results are compared with the theory of small deflections of an elastic thin plate. Our experiments suggest that relatively simple apparatus can induce the mirror profiles required to demagnify a conventional helium source into a microprobe suitable for a SHeM. Use of elliptical boundary conditions in the clamping mechanism afford biaxial bending in the crystal whilst a simple double-electrode design is demonstrated to be capable of asymmetric control of the mirror deformation.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:MacLaren, Dr Donald
Authors: MacLaren, D.A., Goldrein, H.T., Holst, B., and Allison, W.
Subjects:Q Science > QC Physics
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
University Centres > Glasgow Materials Research Initiative
Journal Name:Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics
ISSN (Online):1361-6463
Published Online:16 January 2003

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record