State- and conformer-selected beams of aligned and oriented molecules for ultrafast diffraction studies†
The manipulation of the motion of neutral molecules with electric or magnetic fields has seen tremendous progress over the last decade. Recently, these techniques have been extended to the manipulation of large and complex molecules. In this article we introduce experimental approaches to the manipulation of large molecules, i.e., the deflection, focusing and deceleration using electric fields. We detail how these methods can be exploited to spatially separate quantum states and how to select individual conformers of complex molecules. We briefly describe mixed-field orientation experiments made possible by the quantum-state selection. Moreover, we provide an outlook on ultrafast diffraction experiments using these highly controlled samples.