Simplified optical assembly for single-molecule spectroscopy

Part of the NATO Science Series book series (NAII, volume 90)


A simplified modification of an optical assembly for single-molecule spectroscopy with the sample located at the joint focus of a parabolic mirror and a focusing lens was designed to fit a small helium cryostat with a 33 mm diameter neck [1], A procedure of preadjustment of the position of the focusing lens for a known index of refraction of the environment (such as superfluid liquid helium, helium gas, or vacuum) was developed ensuring excitation of only a small area of a thin film of frozen solution; no adjustment of the lens is required during an experiment. Low impurity concentration in a sample solution and inhomogeneous broadening of the impurity spectra together with high selectivity of narrow laser excitation makes it possible to register pure-electronic spectral lines of single impurity molecules. A signal-to-noise ratio of 15:1 was achieved for single-molecule spectra of terrylene in the Shpol’skii matrix n-decane [2]. Timedependent measurements of shape and spectral position of single-molecule lines makes it possible to obtain information on dynamical processes in solid matrices at low temperatures [2, 3, 4].


Freeze Solution Parabolic Mirror Diameter Neck Philips Research Laboratory Optical Assembly 
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  1. 1.
    V. Palm, Rev. Sci. Instrum., 70, 7, 2957–2959, (1999).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    K.K. Rebane, O. Ollikainen, V.V. Palm, Opt. Spectrosc. (USA), 84, 3, 374–380, (1998) [Transi, of Opt. Spektrosk. (St. Petersburg), 84, 3, 431-438, (1998)].Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    N. Caspary, V. Palm, K.K. Rebane, V.E. Bondybey, Chem. Phys. Lett., 283, 5-6, 345–349, (1998).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    V. Palm, K. Rebane, J.Lumin., 86, 3-4, 207–209, (2000).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. Palm
    • 1
  1. 1.University of TartuEstonia

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