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.


Collectivity and energy transfer in few-molecule systems

  • Gabriel Sánchez-Mosteiro - Former member
  • Jacob Hoogenboom - Former member
  • Jordi Hernando - Former member
  • Niek van Hulst - Former member
  • María García-Parajó - Former member

  • Collective effects play an essential role in the efficient energy transfer of bio-molecules (photosynthetic complexes) and in the photochemistry of closely packed systems (J-aggregates, conjugated polymers). In conventional spectroscopy at low temperatures, collectivity shows up as a narrowing and shift of the absorption spectrum and an enhanced rate of emission (superradiance). At room temperature increased disorder and spectral broadening reduce the range of collective effects. Yet, specifically at room temperature the understanding of collective processes is essential for insight in energy transfer of bio-molecules and applications of photonic conjugated polymers.

    The collectivity in the optical properties of close-by fluorescent molecules arises from (transition) dipole-(transition) dipole coupling. In the case of strong coupling (relatively small amount of disorder) this coupling leads to excited state delocalization over the few-molecule system. In the case of weak coupling, excited state energy transfer is incoherent and the energy 'hops' from one molecule to the other (Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer). We investigate collectivity and energy transfer between chromophores at the single molecule level at room temperature for several different systems:

  • Strongly coupled, superradiant linear dimer and trimer aggregates
  • Unidirectional molecular wires consisting of a DNA-backbone and different fluorophores that form an energy cascade
  • Multi-chromophoric polymers

  • For more information on the first subject please refer to Jacob's personal page


    The following articles have been published regarding this project:

    Synthesis and Characterization of Long Perylenediimide Polymer Fibers: From Bulk to the Single-Molecule Level

    (abstract) (full pdf)
    Pieter A.J. De Witte, Jordi Hernando, Edda E. Neuteboom, Erik M.H.P. van Dijk, Stefan C.J. Meskers, Rene A.J. Janssen, Niek F. van Hulst, Roeland J.M. Nolte, María F. García-Parajó and Alan E. Rowan
    J. Phys. Chem. B
    Vol 110 No 15 p7803 - p7812 march 25, 2006

    Power-Law-Distributed Dark States are the Main Pathway for Photobleaching of Single Organic Molecules

    (abstract) (full pdf)
    Jacob P. Hoogenboom, Erik M. H. P. van Dijk, Jordi Hernando, Niek F. van Hulst, and María F. García-Parajó
    Physical Review Letters
    vol. 95 097401 aug 26 2005

    Energy Transfer in Single-Molecule Photonic Wires

    (abstract) (external link to pdf)
    María F. García-Parajó, Dr., Jordi Hernando, Dr., Gabriel Sanchez Mosteiro, Jacob P. Hoogenboom, Dr., Erik M. H. P. van Dijk, Dr., Niek. F. van Hulst, Prof.
    Volume 6, Issue 5, P819 - 827 apr 22 2005

    Single Molecule Photobleaching Probes the Exciton Wave Function in a Multichromophoric System

    (abstract) (full pdf)
    J. Hernando, J.P. Hoogenboom, E.M.H.P. van Dijk, J.J. García-Lopez, M. Crego-Calama, D.N. Reinhoudt, N.F. van Hulst, and M.F. García-Parajó
    Physical Review Letters
    vol 93 no 23 p 236404 1-4 dec 3, 2004

    Photon Antibunching Proves Emission from a Single Subunit in the Autofluorescent Protein DsRed

    (external link to pdf)
    Gabriel Sánchez-Mosteiro, Majolein Koopman, Erik M. H. P. van Dijk, Jordi Hernando, Niek F. van Hulst, and María F. García-Parajó
    vol 5 issue 11 p1782 - p1785 nov 5 2004

    Investigation of Perylene Photonic Wires by Combined Single-Molecule Fluorescence and Atomic Force Microscopy

    (abstract) (external link to pdf)
    Jordi Hernando, Pieter A. J. de Witte, Erik M. H.P van Dijk, Jeroen Korterik, Roeland J. M. Nolte, Alan E. Rowan, Maria F. García-Parajó, and Niek F. van Hulst
    Angewandte Chemie
    vol 43 issue 31 p4045 - p4049, aug 6 2004

    Multistep Energy Transfer in Single Molecular Photonic Wires

    (abstract) (full pdf)
    Mike Heilemann, Philip Tinnefeld, Gabriël Sanchez Mosteiro, Maria García Parajó, Niek F. Van Hulst and Markus Sauer
    Journal of the American Chemical Society
    vol 126 no 21 p6514-6515 may 6 2004

    Excitonic behavior of rhodamine dimers: A single-molecule study

    (abstract) (full pdf)
    Hernando J, van der Schaaf M, van Dijk EMHP, Sauer M, Garcia-Parajo MF, van Hulst NF
    vol 107 issue 1: p43-p52 JAN 9 2003
    Printable version