Controlled Molecule Imaging

Unraveling the Structure‑Function Relationship in the Molecular Sciences

We develop innovative methods to obtain full control over large molecules and nanoparticles. These methods and the created controlled samples are exploited in fundamental physics and chemistry studies to unravel the underlying mechanisms of chemistry and biology by watching molecules at work.

Highlights

Biomolecular building blocks gripped by laser published by Nature Communications

17 March 2022

DESY team accurately aligns indole molecules and positions them for a detailed examination

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Conformer-specific polar Diels–Alder cycloadditions published and selected as Highlight by Nat. Comm.

18 October 2021

There has been a long-standing discussion whether Diels–Alder cycloadditions proceed via stepwise or concerted mechanisms. By combining a conformationally controlled molecular beam with trapped ions, we explored the mechanism of the model polar cycloaddition of conformer-specific 2,3-dibromo-1,3-butadiene with propene ions under single-collision conditions in the gas phase. Both conformers of the diene are reactive with capture-limited reaction rates and a simultaneous competition of concerted and stepwise reaction pathways was found.

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