Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 504571
Title Pushing the Photon Limit : Nanoantennas Increase Maximal Photon Stream and Total Photon Number
Author(s) Wientjes, Emilie; Renger, Jan; Cogdell, Richard; Hulst, Niek F. van
Source Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 7 (2016)9. - ISSN 1948-7185 - p. 1604 - 1609.
Department(s) Biophysics
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2016

Nanoantennas are well-known for their effective role in fluorescence enhancement, both in excitation and emission. Enhancements of 3-4 orders of magnitude have been reported. Yet in practice, the photon emission is limited by saturation due to the time that a molecule spends in singlet and especially triplet excited states. The maximal photon stream restricts the attainable enhancement. Furthermore, the total number of photons emitted is limited by photobleaching. The limited brightness and observation time are a drawback for applications, especially in biology. Here we challenge this photon limit, showing that nanoantennas can actually increase both saturation intensity and photostability. So far, this limit-shifting role of nanoantennas has hardly been explored. Specifically, we demonstrate that single light-harvesting complexes, under saturating excitation conditions, show over a 50-fold antenna-enhanced photon emission stream, with 10-fold more total photons, up to 108 detected photons, before photobleaching. This work shows yet another facet of the great potential of nanoantennas in the world of single-molecule biology.

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