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J Photochem Photobiol B. 1988 Nov;2(3):295-311.

Gigahertz frequency-domain fluorometry: resolution of complex decays, picosecond processes and future developments.

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  • 1Department of Biological Chemistry, University of Maryland, School of Medicine, Baltimore 21201.


We describe the principles, instrumentation and applications of frequency-domain fluorescence spectroscopy. This method is useful for the resolution of multi-exponential decays and complex anisotropy decays on the picosecond timescale. The present instrumentation allows measurements to 2 GHz, which has been used to measure rotational correlation times as short as 7 ps. In the future it may be possible to extend the frequency range to 10 GHz, which should allow still faster processes to be quantified. It should be emphasized that resolution of fast processes is not obtained at the expense of losing information on the nanosecond timescale. Additionally, the GHz frequency-domain measurements are performed using low excitation intensities, which do not damage the samples.

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