In contrast to ensemble measurements that yield information about the averaged properties of the sample, single molecule studies yield information about individual molecular entities, bypassing the ensemble averaging effect. These molecular properties vary from molecule to molecule and with time for individual molecules. As a result, single molecule studies on a statistically relevant number of molecules yield distributions of parameters that in the limit of very large numbers of molecules approach ensemble data, but which contain a great deal more detailed information about subensembles and individual properties than ensemble measurements can hope to provide.
Schematic of our setup and typical single molecule emission image. The image is recorded by rasterscanning the sample. Periods during which the fluorophore does not emit (dark or off states) are the reason for the noncontinuous appearance of most of the emitters.
Influence of the orientation on the decay of single molecules in front of a mirror
The presence of a mirror influences the fluorescence lifetime, depending on the exact orientation of the emitter. The orientation of single fluorophores positioned at defined distance to a mirror will be determined, and the fluorescence lifetime of the single fluorophore will be measured. This phenomenon will be experimentally studied and also modeled.
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Christian Blum email: firstname.lastname@example.org