Laser-cooling techniques offer novel opportunities in the generation and manipulation of entangled quantum states. Atoms trapped in infrared mesoscopic optical lattices are presented as attractive candidates for both the production of highly entangled states and quantum logic experiments. Recent experimental work on the realization of such a lattice, based on atoms trapped in the antinodes of an infrared standing wave near 10.6 /spl mu/m, is reviewed. This culminates in the individual lattice sites being resolved with an optical microscope. Finally, with the aim of achieving greater control over molecules, a matter-wave interferometer is proposed, in which the probability for absorption of photon momenta depends on the particle velocity, rather than on the absolute laser detuning from a particular optical transition. This scheme has prospects for the laser cooling of both atoms and molecules.