Characterization of chiral substances by circular dichroism

A schematic camphor molecule in front of a mirror.
Chiral molecules exist in two mirroring configurations

In almost all areas of basic science and applied science chirality plays an important role, because the interaction with chiral objects often depends on their handedness. Common examples in molecular science are the interaction of a chiral drug with the corresponding chiral receptors in the human body and the resulting different consecutive reactions, as well as the interaction of circularly polarized light with chiral molecules, which evokes a wide range of chiroptical effects (circular dichroism).


Schematic diagram of the experiment
Laser pulses ionize the chiral molecules and the resulting electron cloud is mapped

Distinguishing of chiral substances

The example of drugs shows the importance of developing ultra-sensitive and rapid analytical methods for the handedness of a sample, while the circular dichroism shows a convenient way to do this. Our group was recently able to show a circular dichroism in the angular distribution of the photoelectrons of chiral molecules after multi photon excitation in the gas phase. The effect is in the 10% range and forms the basis for the development of highly sensitive analytics.

MWith quantum control methods, we are working on a further amplification of the effect and investigate fundamental questions of light-matter interactions in chiral systems.

The following employees are currently involved in this topic. To their specific projects see the link "further information":
Picture of Dr. Han-gyeol  Lee
Dr. Han-gyeol Lee
Telephone +49 561 804-4313
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M. Sc. Physik Alexander Kastner
▶ Chirale Erkennung in der Gasphase
Telephone +49 561 804-4436
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Picture of M. Sc. Physik Tom  Ring
M. Sc. Physik Tom Ring
▶ Massenaufgelöste Bestimmung des Zirkulardichroismus
Telephone +49 561 804-4436
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