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

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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Electrons’ ballet in real time

21 May 2020

Scientists take important step towards quantum molecular movies

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Article on x-ray diffractive imaging of controlled gas-phase molecules reveals the molecular structure of 2,5-diiodothiophene – featured in Scilight and selected as Editor's Choice

28 February 2020

Structure determines function. This simple statement is the key motivation behind diffraction experiments of small molecules, viruses or bacteria, which are performed in order to understand their function. Featured as Editor's Choice and highlighted in an AIP Scilight.

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