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Silica nanoparticles as a tool for fluorescence collection efficiency enhancement

Bartosz Krajnik1, Magdalena Gajda-Rączka2, Dawid Piątkowski1, Piotr Nyga2, Bartłomiej Jankiewicz2, Eckhard Hofmann3 and Sebastian Mackowski1*

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Physics, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Grudziadzka 5, Torun 87-100, Poland

2 Institute of Optoelectronics, Military University of Technology, Warsaw 00-908, Poland

3 Department of Biology and Biotechnology, Ruhr-University Bochum, Bochum 44801, Germany

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:146  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-146

Published: 28 March 2013

Abstract

In this work we demonstrate enhancement of the fluorescence collection efficiency for chlorophyll-containing photosynthetic complexes deposited on SiO2 spherical nanoparticles. Microscopic images of fluorescence emission reveal ring-like emission patterns associated with chlorophyll-containing complexes coupled to electromagnetic modes within the silica nanoparticles. The interaction leaves no effect upon the emission spectra of the complexes, and the transient behavior of the fluorescence also remains unchanged, which indicates no influence of the silica nanoparticles on the radiative properties of the fluorophores. We interpret this enhancement as a result of efficient scattering of electromagnetic field by the dielectric nanoparticles that increases collection efficiency of fluorescence emission.

Keywords:
Silica nanoparticles; Fluorescence collection efficiency; Fluorophores; Light-harvesting complex; 87.64.K-; 87.85.jf; 77.22.-d