A Single Molecule Investigation of the Photostability of Quantum Dots

Eva Arnspang Christensen, Pasad Kulatunga, B. Christoffer Lagerholm

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Quantum dots (QDs) are very attractive probes for multi-color fluorescence applications. We report here however that single QDs that are subject to continuous blue excitation from a 100W mercury arc lamp will undergo a continuous blue-switching of the emission wavelength eventually reaching a permanent dark, photobleached state. We further show that β-mercaptoethanol has a dual stabilizing effect on the fluorescence emission of QDs: 1) by increasing the frequency of time that a QD is in its fluorescent state, and 2) by decreasing the photobleaching rate. The observed QD color spectral switching is especially detrimental for multi-color single molecule applications, as we regularly observe spectral blue-shifts of 50 nm, or more even after only ten seconds of illumination.
Original languageEnglish
JournalP L o S One
Volume7
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)e44355
ISSN1932-6203
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Fingerprint

quantum dots
Quantum Dots
photostability
Semiconductor quantum dots
Molecules
Color
color
Fluorescence
Arc lamps
fluorescence
Mercury vapor lamps
Photobleaching
photobleaching
Mercaptoethanol
Lighting
Mercury
mercury
probes (equipment)
lighting
wavelengths

Cite this

Christensen, Eva Arnspang ; Kulatunga, Pasad ; Lagerholm, B. Christoffer. / A Single Molecule Investigation of the Photostability of Quantum Dots. In: P L o S One. 2012 ; Vol. 7, No. 8. pp. e44355.
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A Single Molecule Investigation of the Photostability of Quantum Dots. / Christensen, Eva Arnspang; Kulatunga, Pasad; Lagerholm, B. Christoffer.

In: P L o S One, Vol. 7, No. 8, 2012, p. e44355.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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AU - Christensen, Eva Arnspang

AU - Kulatunga, Pasad

AU - Lagerholm, B. Christoffer

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AB - Quantum dots (QDs) are very attractive probes for multi-color fluorescence applications. We report here however that single QDs that are subject to continuous blue excitation from a 100W mercury arc lamp will undergo a continuous blue-switching of the emission wavelength eventually reaching a permanent dark, photobleached state. We further show that β-mercaptoethanol has a dual stabilizing effect on the fluorescence emission of QDs: 1) by increasing the frequency of time that a QD is in its fluorescent state, and 2) by decreasing the photobleaching rate. The observed QD color spectral switching is especially detrimental for multi-color single molecule applications, as we regularly observe spectral blue-shifts of 50 nm, or more even after only ten seconds of illumination.

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