Microhydrated biomolecules

Biomolecules are natively found in aqueous soulutions, but quantum optics experiments require the isolation of a particle from its environment. 

However we can mimick a biological environment by packing a biomolecule into a 'space suit', a microhydration shell that helps the molecule-water complex to approach a structural arrangement similar to a form it has in solution.

Using nanosecond laser desorption into moist noble gas jets, we have prepared supersonic sources of polypeptide antibiotics, such as indolicidin or gramicidin, that were dressed with up to 20 water molecules.

References

  • P. Geyer, U. Sezer, J. Rodewald, L. Mairhofer, N. Dörre, P. Haslinger, S. Eibenberger, C. Brand, M. Arndt, Perspectives for quantum interference with biomolecules and biomolecular clusters,
    Physica Scripta: 91,   (2016).