OSA's Digital Library

Optics Letters

Optics Letters


  • Vol. 24, Iss. 9 — May. 1, 1999
  • pp: 581–583

A single molecule as a probe of optical intensity distribution

J. Michaelis, C. Hettich, A. Zayats, B. Eiermann, J. Mlynek, and V. Sandoghdar  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Letters, Vol. 24, Issue 9, pp. 581-583 (1999)

View Full Text Article

Acrobat PDF (466 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



Single terrylene molecules embedded in microscopic p-terphenyl crystals are identified with the technique of fluorescence excitation spectroscopy. By use of the architecture of a scanning-probe microscope at T = 1.4 K , a single molecule is scanned through an excitation laser beam while the fluorescence signal is recorded. In this manner we have mapped the intensity distribution in a one-dimensional optical standing wave, demonstrating the potential of a single molecule as a nanometric probe. We discuss future experiments aimed at combining the high spatial and spectral sensitivity of a single molecule.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(020.0020) Atomic and molecular physics : Atomic and molecular physics
(180.2520) Microscopy : Fluorescence microscopy
(180.3170) Microscopy : Interference microscopy
(180.5810) Microscopy : Scanning microscopy
(260.3160) Physical optics : Interference

J. Michaelis, C. Hettich, A. Zayats, B. Eiermann, J. Mlynek, and V. Sandoghdar, "A single molecule as a probe of optical intensity distribution," Opt. Lett. 24, 581-583 (1999)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset


  1. K. An, J. J. Childs, R. R. Dasari, and M. S. Feld, Phys. Rev. Lett. 73, 3375 (1994).
  2. R. J. Thompson, G. Rempe, and H. J. Kimble, Phys. Rev. Lett. 68, 1132 (1992).
  3. W. E. Moerner and L. Kador, Phys. Rev. Lett. 62, 2535 (1989).
  4. M. Orrit and J. Bernard, Phys. Rev. Lett. 65, 2716 (1990).
  5. See, for example, T. Basché, W. E. Moerner, M. Orrit, and U. P. Wild, Single Molecule Optical Detection, Imaging and Spectroscopy (VCH, Deerfield Beach, Fla., 1997).
  6. E. Betzig and R. J. Chichester, Science 262, 1422 (1993).
  7. T. Basché, W. E. Moerner, M. Orrit, and H. Talon, Phys. Rev. Lett. 69, 1516 (1992).
  8. S. Kummer, T. Basché, and C. Bräuchle, Chem. Phys. Lett. 229, 309 (1994).
  9. M. Bingelli, G. Kotrotsios, R. Christoph, H. E. Hindermann, T. Berghaus, and P. Güthner, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 64, 2888 (1991).
  10. W. P. Ambrose and W. E. Moerner, Nature (London) 349, 225 (1991).
  11. K. Karrai and R. D. Grober, Appl. Phys. Lett. 66, 1842 (1995).
  12. A. M. van Oijen, J. Köhler, J. Schmidt, M. Müller, and G. J. Brakenhoff, Chem. Phys. Lett. 292, 183 (1998).
  13. L. Fleury, A. Gruber, A. Dräbenstedt, J. Wrachtrup, and C. von Borczyskowski, J. Phys. Chem. B 101, 7933 (1997).
  14. R. Kopelman and W. Tan, Science 262, 1382 (1993).
  15. S. K. Sekatskii and V. S. Letokhov, Appl. Phys. B 63, 525 (1996).
  16. C. Henkel and V. Sandoghdar, Opt. Commun. 158, 250 (1998).

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited