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Proceedings Paper

Finding a single molecule in a haystack: laser spectroscopy of solids from (square root of)N to N=1
Author(s): William E. Moerner; W. Patrick Ambrose
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Paper Abstract

Single-absorber optical spectroscopy in solids may be regarded as the problem of finding a single dopant impurity molecule in a 'haystack' composed of 1012 - 1018 background host molecules and up to $OM106 additional impurity molecules. Detailed studies of the low-temperature inhomogeneously broadened 0-0 S1 $IMP S0 electronic transition of pentacene dopant molecules in p-terphenyl crystals have yielded both (1) observations of spectral structure scaling as N, where N is the number of impurity molecules in resonance, and (2) the optical absorption spectrum of a single impurity molecule in a solid (N equals 1). Recent advances in fluorescence excitation of very small volumes have greatly improved the signal-to-noise ratio for a single molecule.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 July 1991
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 1435, Optical Methods for Ultrasensitive Detection and Analysis: Techniques and Applications, (1 July 1991); doi: 10.1117/12.44247
Show Author Affiliations
William E. Moerner, IBM/Almaden Research Ctr. (United States)
W. Patrick Ambrose, IBM/Almaden Research Ctr. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1435:
Optical Methods for Ultrasensitive Detection and Analysis: Techniques and Applications
Bryan L. Fearey, Editor(s)

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