Pumping up the music of molecules

23 Aug 2022

Laser physicists have used an optical resonator to amplify the characteristic vibrations of molecules excited by laser pulses in such a way that their identification becomes possible even at very low concentrations.

Sensitive animal noses can sniff out trace particles, such as volatile organic compounds, in the ambient air. Humans, on the other hand, are developing innovative technologies for this purpose, such as optical spectroscopy. This uses laser light to detect the molecular composition of gases. It opens up the possibility of even surpassing these "smelling" successes - also for substances that animal noses cannot perceive at all.