The research at the division is centered at fundamental aspects of the structure, reaction dynamics and kinetics of molecules in various environments and their interactions with electrons and electromagnetic fields. A hallmark of the division is that this is pursued in the spirit of close connections between strong theoretical and experimental groups. Areas of research include molecular astrophysics and -biology, water structure and dynamics, ultrafast dynamics of molecules in gas phase and surface reactions, electron-molecular ion interaction, theory of primary chemical reactions, and energy-related research on dye-sensitized solar-cells and fuel-cells.
A substantial part of the research is carried out at large-scale external facilities, e.g., the LCLS and XFEL xray free electron lasers, synchrotrons, and radiotelescopes. The division also has an in-house ultrafast laser spectroscopy laboratory with facilities for gas phase ultrafast multiparticle coincidence electron spectroscopy combined with high-order harmonic generation and time-resolved vibrational sum-frequency spectroscopy of surface chemical reactions. The double ion storage ring DESIREE will allow studies of properties and reactions of important ions in a cold environment, including larger species like fullerenes, polyaromatic hydrocarbons and clusters.