Andreas Osterwalder completed his Ph.D. at ETH Zurich (Switzerland) with a thesis on high-resolution spectroscopy of high Rydberg states. During a postdoctoral stay at the University of California, Berkeley (USA), where he was working on a new method for high-resolution photoelectron spectroscopy of negative ions, he discovered his interest in cold molecules, and especially cold chemistry. From 2005 to 2009 he was working as a group leader at the Fritz-Haber-Institute of the Max-Planck Society in Berlin (Germany), working on new ways to produce translationally cold neutral molecules, in particular in view of applications to collisions studies. In 2009 he took a position as a Swiss Science Foundation funded professor at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland), where he is investigating reactive scattering dynamics at low temperatures in merged neutral molecular beams.
A new approach to the continuous deceleration of polar molecules uses a rotating guide to slow the molecules down.