Research Groups

Structure and Dynamics of Cold and Controlled Molecules

Independent Research Group – PD Dr. Melanie Schnell

Welcome to the website of the independent Max Planck Research Group focusing on the structure and dynamics of molecules and molecular complexes. We are aiming at getting deeper insight into the interplay between structure, dynamics and function of polar molecules in the gas phase as well as in investigating molecular recognition processes by studying selected molecular complexes. Another branch of research is devoted to investigating molecular chirality, and to develop a new and general tool for manipulating the motion of polar molecules, i.e., microwave manipulation.

Our group started in January 2011, and we are jointly hosted by the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter and by the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg.

We are operating three molecular beam experiments in our laboratory (two broadband chirped-pulse rotational spectrometers (see our first paper on our COMPACT spectrometer here) and a molecular beam machine existing of a Stark and a microwave decelerator. A fourth experiment dedicated to precision spectroscopy experiments that is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft just became operational.


The first broadband spectrum

Our chirped-pulse broadband rotational spectrometer became operational in 2011! Here you can see the first results we were very happy about: The rotational spectrum of trifluoro iodomethane (CF3I) as a test molecule in the 2–8 GHz range.