Imaging ultrafast chemical dynamics in the molecular frame

The main goal of our work is to understand how small molecules change their structure and function during chemical reactions. We, therefore, develop methods to image the dynamics of small molecules and clusters in the gas phase. We are especially focussing on model chromophores like indole and pyrrole and the corresponding one-to-one clusters with water molecules so indole-water and pyrrole-water. We use strong inhomogeneous electric fields in order to spatially separate our systems present in the molecular beam according to individual quantum states, shapes, and structures. This allows performing experiments on well-defined and pure samples. Furthermore, to allow studies in the molecular frame we work on the control of such systems in terms of angular confinement making use of strong-field laser alignment and mixed field orientation. Probing techniques are based on velocity map imaging techniques of fragment ions and corresponding electrons and diffraction methods like "coherent" diffractive imaging and laser-induced electron diffraction (LIED).



Controlled molecules

Controlling molecules in the gas phase using electric fields allows for studying the dynamics of well-defined systems in the molecular frame.