Optical Sciences

Biomolecules and nanostructures

The Optical Sciences group studies the interaction of light and matter at the nanoscale. We do this by exploring ways to shape light and its environment. It's what we call active and passive control. Our current focus is on the interaction of light with biomolecules and nanostructures. We are part of Twente University's Department of Science and Technology and member of the MESA+ institute.
We participate in the EU-COST actions MP1102: Coherent Raman microscopy (MicroCor) and CM1202: Supramolecular photocatalytic water splitting (PERSPECT-H2O)


Single molecule rotational and translational diffusion observed by near-field scanning optical microscopy

Ruiter AGT, Veerman JA, GarciaParajo MF, vanHulst NF
vol 101 issue 40: p7318-p7323 OCT 2 1997

We have observed rotational and translational diffusion of single molecules using a near-field scanning optical microscope with two polarization detection channels. The measurements were performed under ambient conditions with the molecules dispersed o­n glass or embedded in polymer. Tn successive images the fluorescence of single molecules was followed over about I h, with 10 ms integration time, until photodissociation, The position of single molecular fluorescence could be located with an accuracy of 1 nm. From the lateral diffusion of Rhodamine SG molecules o­n glass during successive images, a diffusion constant of (6.7 +/- 4.5) x 10(-15) cm(2)/s was determined, The orientation of the in-plane emission dipole of all molecules irt o­ne image could be directly determined with an accuracy of a few degrees by simultaneous detection in two perpendicular polarization directions. By rotating the excitation polarization we could selectively excite different sets of molecules and compare their in-plane absorption and emission dipole orientation. Monitoring Dil molecules in PMMA over 1 h, we found rotation of less than 10 degrees for the majority of molecules, while incidental fast rotation and transition to a dark state occurs. The fluorescence intensity was observed to be molecule dependent, which is an indication for out-of-plane orientation and different local photophysical environment.
Printable version