Exciting chiral molecules!

Chiral molecules are ubiquitous in nature and they are of great importance in many biological and chemical processes. They are also at the center of some interesting fundamental physics questions, for example whether there is parity violation in chiral molecules, which has been long predicted but never experimentally observed.

We are interested in experimental techniques targeted at the understanding and the control of cold, (chiral) molecules in the gas phase. One of the recent milestones in chiral analysis is the method of microwave three-wave mixing where the enantiomers of a chiral molecule can be distinguished in a sensitive, non-destructive way, solely using electric-dipole allowed transitions.
We have employed this technique in our lab in a very compact, broadband experimental setup.

Controlling the internal quantum states of chiral molecules for a chosen enantiomer has a wide range of fundamental applications. We are developing methods to create enantiomeric enrichment in chosen quantum states by combining high resolution spectroscopy techniques in the UV and microwave regime.

We are also working on establishing a quantum interference experiment targeted at the preparation of quantum-state selected molecule beams and the spatial separation of chiral molecules in the gas phase.

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