Until about 2005, molecular rotational spectroscopy was performed using narrowband (~1 MHz) excitation of a low-pressure gas in a resonant cavity. This method offers high sensitivity for each data acquisition, but the time required to perform a spectrum scan over about 10 GHz, needed to capture the rotational spectrum, was a major limitation to applications of the technique. Advances in high-speed digital electronics have made it possible to design spectrometers that offer instantaneous, broadband (> 10 GHz) performance. During our initial work with high-speed arbitrary waveform generators and digitizers (with Tom Gallagher) we developed the method of chirped pulse Fourier transform rotational spectroscopy that uses a pulse with linear chirp to phase-reproducibly excite the gas sample. The subsequent coherent emission (free induction decay) is detected with the high-speed digitizer and the frequency domain spectrum is obtained using FFT analysis. Since the introduction of the technique in 2008 , the method has been applied to unimolecular reaction dynamics , the structures of molecular clusters , and the laboratory identification of molecules in the interstellar medium . The technique has been extended to mm-wave spectroscopy with applications to Rydberg spectroscopy , chemical reaction dynamics, and analytical chemistry. The broadband technique has also enabled a new generation of molecular structure studies in the field of chirality  with the potential for solving significant challenges for real-time pharmaceutical manufacturing.
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