The Willitsch Group - Cold and Controlled Molecules and Ions

Welcome to the Cold and Controlled Molecules and Ions group at the University of Basel led by Prof. Stefan Willitsch and the astrochemistry subgroup led by Dr Jutta Toscano. Our research is concerned with the preparation and control of cold molecules and molecular ions and their applications in both chemistry and physics. On this website, you can find information about our group, our research, our teaching and opportunities to join us.

Recent news


We extend a warm welcome to Dr. Adrien Poindron, a new postdoctoral researcher joining our group. He completed his Ph.D. at Aix-Marseille University, France, and will be working on coupling an ultracold ion to a nanomechanical oscillator.


A warm welcome to Aswin Ravindran, a new PhD student in our group. He obtained his BS-MS integrated degree in chemistry from IISER, Bhopal. He is joining the astrochemistry sub-group with a project on Controlled Laboratory Astrochemistry. 

Our group

Open positions

  • PhD position in conformationally controlled chemistry
  • PhD and postdoc positions in molecular-ion quantum technologies
  • PhD position in computational chemistry (reaction dynamics)

More information

Recent publications

M. Weegen, M. Poggio, S. Willitsch,
"Coupling trapped ions to a nanomechanical oscillator"

M. Deiß, S. Willitsch, J. H. Denschlag,
"Cold trapped molecular ions and hybrid platforms for ions and neutral particles"

C. Mangeng, Y Yin, R. Karl, and S. Willitsch,
"Experimental implementation of laser cooling of trapped ions in strongly inhomogeneous magnetic fields"
Phys. Rev. Research 5, 043180 (2023) (arXiv:2309.03385)

A. Shlykov, M. Roguski, and S. Willitsch,
"Optimized strategies for the quantum-state preparation of single trapped nitrogen molecular ions"
Adv. Quantum Technol. (2023), 2300268  (arXiv:2309.03035)

L. Xu, J. Toscano, and S. Willitsch,
"Trapping and sympathetic cooling of conformationally selected molecular ions"

M. Sinhal and S. Willitsch,
"Molecular-ion quantum technologies",
p. 305 ff. in "Photonic Quantum Technologies: Science and Applications", ed. M. Benyoucef, Wiley-VCH 2023 (arXiv:2204.08814)

A. Voute, A. Dörfler, L. Wiesenfeld, O. Dulieu, F. Gatti, D. Peláez and S. Willitsch,
"Charge transfer of polyatomic molecules in ion-atom hybrid traps: Stereodynamics in the millikelvin regime"
Phys. Rev. Res. 5, L032021 (2023), (arXiv:2303.15327)

A. Kilaj, S. Käser, J. Wang, P. Straňák, M. Schwilk, L. Xu, O. A. v. Lilienfeld, J. Küpper, M. Meuwly, and S. Willitsch, "Conformational and state-specific effects in reactions of 2,3-dibromobutadiene with Coulomb-crystallized calcium ions"
Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 25 (2023), 13933–13945 (arXiv:2303.11813)

More publications