Optical Sciences

Biomolecules and nanostructures

The Optical Sciences group studies the interaction of light and matter. Our current focus is on detection and sensing/imaging with an emphasis on the development of integrated photonics. We are part of Twente University's Department of Science and Technology and member of the MESA+ institute.

 

Single molecule lifetime fluctuations reveal segmental dynamics in polymers

(full pdf)

Vallee RAL, Tomczak N, Kuipers L, Vancso GJ, van Hulst NF
PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS
vol 91 issue 3: art. no. 038301 july 18 2003

We present a single molecule fluorescence study that allows o­ne to probe the nanoscale segmental dynamics in amorphous polymer matrices. By recording single molecular lifetime trajectories of embedded fluorophores, peculiar excursions towards longer lifetimes are observed. The asymmetric response is shown to reflect variations in the photonic mode density as a result of the local density fluctuations of the surrounding polymer. We determine the number of polymer segments involved in a local segmental rearrangement volume around the probe. A common decrease of the number of segments with temperature is found for both investigated polymers, poly(styrene) and poly(isobutylmethacrylate). Our novel approach will prove powerful for the understanding of the nanoscale rearrangements in functional polymers.
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