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Dark State-Modulated Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy for Quantitative Signal Recovery

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journal contribution
posted on 14.06.2016 by Jung-Cheng Hsiang, Blake C. Fleischer, Robert M. Dickson
Excitation of few-atom Ag cluster fluorescence produces significant steady-state dark state populations that can be dynamically optically depopulated with long wavelength coillumination. Modulating this secondary illumination dynamically repopulates the ground state, thereby directly modulating nanodot fluorescence without modulating background. Both fast and slow modulation enable unmodulated background to be quantitatively removed in fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) through simple correlation-based averaging. Such modulated dual-laser FCS enables recovery of pure Ag nanodot fluorescence correlations even in the presence of strong, spectrally overlapping background emission. Fluorescence recovery is linear with Fourier amplitude of the modulated fluorescence, providing a complementary approach to background-free quantitation of modulatable emitter concentration in high background environments. Using the expanding range of modulatable fluorophores, such methodologies should facilitate biologically relevant studies in both complex autofluorescent environments and multiplexed assays.