Fluorescence microscopy and spectroscopy techniques are indispensable in soft matter and life science research. These methods rely on inherent fluorophore properties like brightness, lifetime, and spectra and their change with the physico-chemical environment of the fluorophore. However fluorophore properties also depend on the nanophotonic environment represented by the Local Density of Optical States (LDOS). By manipulating the LDOS, with e.g. a metallic or dielectric interface, the fluorescence emission process itself can be controlled. Only recently it is realized that the change of and control over the LDOS can be exploited in applications.
At NBP we have recently shown that the precise control oner the LDOS can be used to
- determine the quantum efficiency (QE) of photophysically complex fluorophores, a key parameter that is currently not easily accessible.
- manipulate Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) between pairs of fluorophore
- develop an axial super-resolution microscopy method that is fully compatible with established (functional) labeling strategies and is expected to be of value in unraveling the function-nanoscale topography relation of the cell membrane.
In the project you will contribute to developing these approaches further.
- use a precision instrument to control the LDOS based on AFM technology. By controlling the distance between fluorophores and a metallic interface with nanometer precision the LDOS is modified.
- Use ultrasensitive fluorescence lifetime microscopy to monitor the effects of the changed LDOS
- Find clever ways to model and analyze the obtained data
If you are interested, please feel free to contact us. Within the Nanobiophysics group we try to provide you with a BSc/MSc assignment that fits your expertise and interest.
Christian Blum: email@example.com, Zuidhorst 168
Mireille Claessens: firstname.lastname@example.org, Zuidhorst 163