The independent research group on Controlled Molecule Imaging within the Coherent Imaging Division of the Center for Free Electron Laser Science develops methods to get full control over large molecules and to apply these methods and the created controlled samples in fundamental physics and chemistry studies.
We apply electric fields to manipulate the translations and rotations of large molecules. This ranges from dc electric fields in the electric equivalent of the Stern Gerlach deflector over switched electric fields in AC guides and decelerators to high frequency laser fields for alignment and mixed field orientation of the molecules. We have demonstrated the quantum-state and conformer (structural isomer) selection, the alignment and orientation, and the deceleration of large and complex molecules in the gas phase. We have also been involved in experiments exploiting decelerated small molecules in prototype experiments for spectroscopic purposes, in storage rings, and in micro-structured molecule-optics experiments.
See the research overview for a summary of the various projects we are involved in and the list of publications for details.
The quantum-state-selected polar ensembles produces by our methods allow unprecedented degrees of alignment and orientation. Such state- and conformer selected oriented ensembles are ideal samples for the recording of pictures and movies of molecules in action. We prepare and perform experiments along these lines, e. g., for diffractive imaging studies of gas-phase molecules, for high-harmonic generation and tomographic imaging of the molecules electronic structure, for molecular-frame photoelectron angular-distribution studies, for reactive scattering, and many other experiments in chemistry and physics.
You can learn more about the group members on our People page.