LIGHT QUENCHING OF FLUORESCENCE: A NEW METHOD TO CONTROL THE EXCITED STATE LIFETIME AND ORIENTATION OF FLUOROPHORES

Joseph R. Lakowicz, Ignacy Gryczyski, Józef Kuba, Valery Bogdanov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

Abstract Experimental studies have recently demonstrated that fluorescence emission can be quenched by laser light pulses from modem high‐repetition rate lasers, a phenomenon we call “light quenching.” In this overview article, we describe the possible effects of light quenching on the steady‐state and time‐resolved intensity and anisotropy of fluorophores. One can imagine two classes of experiments. Light quenching can occur within the single excitation pulse, or light quenching can be accomplished with a second time‐delayed quenching pulse. The extent of light quenching depends on the amplitude of the emission spectrum at the quenching wavelength. Different effects are expected for light quenching by a single laser beam (within a single laser pulse) or for a time‐delayed quenching pulse. Depending upon the polarization of the light quenching beam, light quenching can decrease or increase the anisotropy. Remarkably, the light quenching can break the usual z‐axis symmetry of the excited state population, and the measured anisotropy (or polarization) depends upon whether the observation axis is parallel or perpendicular to the propagation direction of the light quenching beam. The polarization can increase to unity under selected conditions. Quenching with time‐delayed light pulses can result in step changes in the intensity or anisotropy, which is predicted to result in oscillations in the frequency‐domain intensity and anisotropy decays. These predicted effects of light quenching, including oscillations in the frequency‐domain data, were demonstrated to occur using selected fluorophores. The increasing availability and use of pulsed laser sources requires consideration of the possible effects of light quenching and offers the opportunity for a new class of two‐pulse or multiple‐pulse time‐resolved experiments where the sample is prepared by the excitation pulse and subsequent quenching pulses to modify the excited state population, followed by time‐ or frequency‐domain measurement of the optically prepared excited fluorophores.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)546-562
Number of pages17
JournalPhotochemistry and Photobiology
Volume60
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1994

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