Department of Molecular Physics

The research in the Department of Molecular Physics focuses on the structure and the intra- and inter-molecular dynamics of molecular systems, from diatomic molecules to biological macromolecules, either in isolation or in interaction with their environment. For this, new experimental methods to manipulate and control, to characterise and to spectroscopically investigate these molecular systems are developed and exploited.

Research themes


Bernd Winter, who leads the Liquid Microjet project in the Molecular Physics Department, has been awarded an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) endowed with €2.5 million over a period of five years. more

The chemist Prof. Dr. Kevin Pagel has been awarded a highly endowed Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council (ERC). Pagel is a professor of bioorganic chemistry at Freie Universität Berlin and a visiting researcher at the Fritz Haber Institute. more

Researchers from the Fritz-Haber Institute of the Max-Planck Society in Berlin identified aluminum monofluoride (AlF) as an excellent molecule to be laser-cooled to ultra-low temperatures with a high density. Atoms have been laser-cooled with great success for over 30 years. Recently, this powerful technique has been extended to small molecules, but a major challenge remains: to increase the density of the laser-cooled molecular gas by many orders of magnitude. AlF has the potential to achieve… more

We propose a novel direct detection concept to search for dark matter with masses in the 100 keV to 100 MeV range, in which the dark matter particles scatter off molecules in a gas and excite a vibrational and rotational state of the molecule. The excited ro-vibrational mode relaxes rapidly and produces a spectacular signal consisting of multiple infrared photons, which can be observed with ultrasensitive photodetectors.

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