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 probing at free volume in polymeric glasses

  • Nikodem Tomczak - Former member
  • Renaud Vallée - Former member

  • This research is a joint multidisciplinary project between the MESA+ groups: Material Science & Technology of Polymers (Julius Vancso) and the Applied Optics group (Niek van Hulst).

    Single fluoresent molecules are studied, embedded in amorphous polymer matrices, such as atactic polystryrene and poly(methyl)methacrylate with different chain lengths and lengths distributions. This allows us to investigate free volume effects. We anticipate that these experiments will help us to resolve controversies regarding the presence of microdomains in the bulk and surface effects of amorphous polymers.


    The following articles have been published regarding this project:

    Single light emitters in electrospun polymer nanofibers: Effect of local confinement on radiative decay

    (abstract) (full pdf)
    Nikodem Tomczak, Shuying Gu, Mingyong Han, Niek F. van Hulst, G. Julius Vancso
    European Polymer Journal
    vol 42 p2205-2210 23 aug 2006

    Beaded Electrospun Fibers for Photonic Applications

    (full pdf)
    Nikodem Tomczak, Niek F. van Hulst, and G. Julius Vancso
    vol 38 issue 18 p. 7863-7866 aug 4 2005

    Fluorescence lifetime fluctuations of single molecules probe local density fluctuations in disordered media: A bulk approach

    (abstract) (full pdf)
    R.A.L. Vallée, N. Tomczak, G.J. Vancso, L. Kuipers and N.F. van Hulst
    Journal of Chemical Physics
    vol 122 issue 11 p114704 march 15 2005

    Segment Dynamics in Thin Polystyrene Films Probed by Single-Molecule Optics

    (full pdf)
    Nikodem Tomczak, Renaud A. L. Vallée, Erik M. H. P. van Dijk, Laurens Kuipers, Niek F. van Hulst, and G. Julius Vancso
    vol 126 issue 15 p4748-4749 march 25 2004

    Nanoscale Hydrophobic Recovery: A Chemical Force Microscopy Study of UV/Ozone-Treated Cross-Linked Poly(dimethylsiloxane)

    (abstract) (full pdf)
    Henrik Hillborg, Nikodem Tomczak, Attila Olàh, Holger Schönherr, and G. Julius Vancso
    vol. 20 issue 3 p785 - p794 3 feb 2004

    Probing polymers with single fluorescent molecules

    (abstract) (full pdf)
    Nikodem Tomczak, Renaud A.L. Vallée, Erik M.H.P. van Dijk, Maria García-Parajó, Laurens Kuipers, Niek F. van Hulst, G. Julius Vancso
    European Polymer Journal
    vol 40 p1001-1011 20 jan 2004

    Effect of solvent on nanoscale polymer heterogeneity and mobility probed by single molecule lifetime fluctuations

    (abstract) (full pdf)
    Vallee RAL, Tomczak N, Kuipers L, Vancso GJ, van Hulst NF
    vol. 384 issues1-3: p5-p8 jan 19 2004

    Single molecule lifetime fluctuations reveal segmental dynamics in polymers

    (abstract) (full pdf)
    Vallee RAL, Tomczak N, Kuipers L, Vancso GJ, van Hulst NF
    vol 91 issue 3: art. no. 038301 july 18 2003

    Molecular fluorescence lifetime fluctuations: on the possible role of conformational effects

    (abstract) (full pdf)
    Vallee RAL, Vancso GJ, van Hulst NF, Calbert JP, Cornil J, Bredas JL
    vol 372 issue 1-2: p282-p287 APR 22 2003

    Film thickness effects on single molecule optical probing of polymers

    Tomczak N, Vallee R, Garcia-Parajo MF, Kuipers L, van Hulst NF, Vancso JG
    Polym. Mat.:Sci.Eng.
    vol 88 p449-p450 (2003)

    Single molecule probing of polymers and supramolecular materials

    Vancso GJ, Schonherr H, Zou S, de Jong MR, Huskens J, Tomczak N, Vallee R, van Hulst NF, Reinhoudt DN
    vol 88 p230 (2003)

    On the role of electromagnetic boundary conditions in single molecule fluorescence lifetime studies of dyes embedded in thin films

    (abstract) (full pdf)
    Vallee R, Tomczak N, Gersen H, van Dijk EMHP, Garcia-Parajo MF, Vancso GJ, van Hulst NF
    vol 348 issue 3-4: p161-p167 NOV 9 2001

    Optical probing of single fluorescent molecules and proteins

    (abstract) (external link to pdf)
    Garcia-Parajo MF, Veerman JA, Bouwhuis R, Vallee R, van Hulst NF
    vol 2 issue 6: p347-p360 JUN 18 2001

    Single-molecule probing of nanoscale polymer dynamics.

    Garcia-Parajo MF, Veerman JA, Bouwhuis R, Vallee R, Vancso JG, van Hulst NF
    vol 221: p175-PHYS part 2 APR 1 2001

    Single molecule probing of nanoscale polymer dynamics

    R.A.L. Vallee, N. Tomczak, M.F. Garcia-Parajo, G.J. Vancso, N.F. van Hulst
    Polymer Preprints
    Printable version