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Volume 13: Pages 421-426, 2000
Electron Dichroism: Interaction of Polarized Electrons with Chiral Molecules
Physikalisches Institut, Wilhelm‐Klemm‐Str. 10, 48149 Münster, Germany
The paper discusses the problem of whether spin‐polarized electrons can distinguish between left‐and right‐handed molecules. This has been a matter of longstanding discussion and speculation and of controversial experiments. The results presented here show that the attenuation of electron beams passing through chiral molecules is clearly spin dependent. This is analogous to the circular dichroism of light and is therefore called electron dichroism. The size of the effect agrees with what has been predicted by theoretical estimates.
Keywords: spin‐polarized electrons, spin‐dependent scattering, electron transmission through chiral molecules, handedness of Nature, electron scattering, electron interaction with chiral molecules
Received: April 15, 2000; Published online: December 15, 2008