We examined the photostability of a double-stranded DNA oligomer, covalently labeled with Cy3 or Cy5 on one strand, in the presence of metallic silver island films. In our experimental configuration a minor fraction of the labeled DNA was close to the silver particles and the remainder was distant from the panicles. Proximity of the fluorophores to silver island films resulted in increased intensity. Upon continuous illumination we found a fraction of the emission that was resistant to the photobleaching. The emission spectra of the residual fractions were identical to the initial spectra. The frequency-domain lifetime measurements of this fraction revealed greatly shortened decay times. These results are consistent with the photostable fraction being close to the silver particles. This results suggest that the number of photons detected per fluorophore, prior to photobleaching, can be increased 5-fold or more by proximity to silver particles. Localization at an optimal distance from the silver surface may result in larger enhancements.
- Metal-enhanced fluorescence
- Silver islands