2 June 1994 Optical detection of single molecules in thin solid films
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Optical spectroscopy of single molecules as guests in a solid matrix represents a new and powerful method to study truly local effects of single guest molecules and their interaction with the host. The work of W.E. Moerner et al. [1] and M. Orrit et al. [2] showed that single molecule spectroscopy (SMS) is possible by using a low concen— tration of guest molecules and probing a small volume of the sample with a highly sensitive fluorescence excitation spectroscopy. At low temperatures the inhomogenous broadening normally exceeds strongly the homogenously broadened zero—phonon lines of the single guest molecules. This gives rise to a spectral separation of the guest molecules on the frequency scale. In other words the slightly different environment of each guest molecule shifts the transition frequency in a specific way so that by tuning a narrow band laser over the corresponding frequency range isolated fluorescence excitation spectra of single molecules can be observed. At higher concentrations and larger probed volumes single molecules can still be detected, however, in this case they are found only at the wings of the inhomogenously broadened line.
© (1994) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Christoph R. Braeuchle, Thomas Basche, "Optical detection of single molecules in thin solid films", Proc. SPIE 2144, Advanced Photonics Materials for Information Technology, (2 June 1994); doi: 10.1117/12.177216; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.177216

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