Small-angle scattering interferometry with neutron orbital angular momentum states

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SANS; neutron; fork-dislocation; phase gratings; hologram; helical wave; small-angle neutron scattering; Mach-Zehnder; neutron interferometer; orbital angular momentum; petal profile; nanofabrication; Paul Scherrer Institute; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; National Institute of Standards and Technology
Connected to paperThis paper is a preprint and has not been certified by peer review

Small-angle scattering interferometry with neutron orbital angular momentum states


Dusan Sarenac, Melissa E. Henderson, Huseyin Ekinci, Charles W. Clark, David G. Cory, Lisa DeBeer-Schmitt, Michael G. Huber, Owen Lailey, Jonathan S. White, Kirill Zhernenkov, Dmitry A. Pushin


Access to the neutron orbital degree of freedom has been enabled by the recent actualization of methods to prepare and characterize neutron helical waves carrying orbital angular momentum (OAM) at small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) facilities. This provides new avenues of exploration in fundamental science experiments as well as in material characterization applications. However, it remains a challenge to recover phase profiles from SANS measurements. We introduce and demonstrate a novel neutron interferometry technique for extracting phase information that is typically lost in SANS measurements. An array of reference beams, with complementary structured phase profiles, are put into a coherent superposition with the array of object beams, thereby manifesting the phase information in the far-field intensity profile. We demonstrate this by resolving petal-structure signatures of helical wave interference for the first time: an implementation of the long-sought recovery of phase information from small-angle scattering measurements.

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