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Nano Lett. 2007 Nov;7(11):3535-9. Epub 2007 Oct 19.

Quantum dot photon statistics measured by three-dimensional particle tracking.

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  • 1Physical Measurement and Control 266-33, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, USA.


We present an instrument for performing correlation spectroscopy on single fluorescent particles while tracking their Brownian motion in three dimensions using real-time feedback. By tracking CdSe/ZnS quantum dots in water (diffusion coefficient approximately 20 microm2/s), we make the first measurements of photon antibunching (at approximately 10 ns) on single fluorophores free in solution and find fluorescence lifetime heterogeneity within a quantum dot sample. In addition, we show that 2-mercaptoethanol suppresses short time-scale intermittency (1 ms to 1 s) in quantum dot fluorescence by reducing time spent in the off-state.

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