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)


Near-field optical and shear-force microscopy of single fluorophores and DNA molecules

(full pdf)

Garcia-Parajo MF, Veerman JA, Ruiter AGT, van Hulst NF
vol 71 issue 1-4: p311-p319 MAR 1998

Photodynamics of individual fluorescence molecules has been studied using an aperture-type near-field scanning optical microscope with two channel fluorescence polarisation detection and tuning fork shear-force feedback. The position of maximum fluorescence from individual molecules could be localised with an accuracy of 1 nm. Dynamic processes such as translational and rotational diffusion were observed for molecules adsorbed to a glass surface or embedded in a polymer host. The in-plane molecular dipole orientation could be determined by monitoring the relative contribution of the fluorescence signal in the two perpendicular polarised direct:ions. Rotational dynamics was investigated o­n 10 ms-1000 s timescale. Shear-force phase feedback was used to obtain topographic imaging of DNA fragments, with a lateral and vertical resolution comparable to scanning force microscopy. A DNA height of 1.4 nm has been measured, an indication of the non-disturbing character of the shear force mechanism. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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