Fluorescence microscopy exploits molecular fluorescence as a simple approach to enhance the visual contrast of samples. Beyond their use in fluorescence microscopy, fluorophores have proven to be useful in a much wider range of applications, and across length-scales. For example, fluoropores have enabled probing the direct nanoenvironment of the fluorophores to study chemical processes at the nanoscale. In addition, fluorophores were also found applicable in a diverse range from solar cells and LEDs to sensing and diagnostics to quantum computing. For optimum performance, it is important to thoroughly characterize the physico-chemical and photophysical properties of fluorophores prior to use. New fluorescence-based techniques like super-resolution fluorescence microscopy are rapidly developing, and are accompanied by a range of new fluorophores that push the limits of known characterization approaches. Standard ensemble characterization methods give only limited insights into the photophysics of these new fluorophores. Therefore, single molecule characterization methods are required to fully access these photophysical properties of the fluorophores. For this reason, single molecule studies have become very popular over the past three decades. At present, still not all photophysical properties can be accessed at the single emitter level. In this thesis, various techniques and methods are described that we developed to characterize single emitters, and to get detailed insights into the photophysics of quantum emitting systems.
|Award date||25 Sep 2014|
|Place of Publication||Enschede|
|Publication status||Published - 25 Sep 2014|