Reproducible fluorescence spectra of individual 2- to 5-µm -diameter biological aerosol particles excited with a single shot from a <i>Q</i> -switched laser (266 or 351 nm) have been obtained with highly improved signal-to-noise ratios. Critical to the advance are crossed diode-laser trigger beams, which precisely define the sample volume, and a reflecting objective, which minimizes chromatic aberration and has a large N.A. for collecting fluorescence. Several allergens (red oak, meadow oat pollen, paper mulberry pollen, and puffball spores) have different fluorescence spectra. <i>Bacillus subtilis</i> fluorescence spectrum deteriorates at high 266-nm incident intensity. Dry riboflavin particles illuminated with a 351-nm light exhibit a new 420-nm fluorescence peak that grows nonlinearly with laser pulse energy.
© 1999 Optical Society of America
Yong-le Pan, Stephen Holler, Richard K. Chang, Steven C. Hill, Ronald G. Pinnick, Stanley Niles, and Jerold R. Bottiger, "Single-shot fluorescence spectra of individual micrometer-sized bioaerosols illuminated by a 351- or a 266-nm ultraviolet laser," Opt. Lett. 24, 116-118 (1999)