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Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics


  • Editor: Gregory W. Faris
  • Vol. 3, Iss. 9 — Sep. 8, 2008

Observation of nanosecond laser induced fluorescence of in vitro seawater phytoplankton

Thomas J. Bensky, Lisa Clemo, Chris Gilbert, Bryan Neff, Mark A. Moline, and Dov Rohan  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 47, Issue 22, pp. 3980-3986 (2008)

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Seawater has been irradiated using a train of 70 ns flashes from a 440 nm laser source. This wavelength is on resonance with the blue absorption peak of Chlorophyll pigment associated with the photosystem of in vitro phytoplankton. The resulting fluorescence at 685 nm is instantaneously recorded during each laser pulse using a streak camera. Delayed fluorescence is observed, yielding clues about initiation of the photosynthetic process on a nanosecond time scale. Further data processing allows for determination of the functional absorption cross section, found to be 0.0095 Å 2 , which is the first reporting of this number for in vitro phytoplankton. Unlike other flash-pump studies of Chlorophyll, using a LED or flashlamp-based sources, the short laser pulse used here does not reveal any pulse-to-pulse hysteresis (i.e., variable fluorescence), indicating that the laser pulses used here are not able to drive the photosynthetic process to completion. This is attributed to competition from a back reaction between the photoexcited photosystem II and the intermediate electron acceptor. The significance of this work as a new type of deployable ocean fluorimeter is discussed, and it is believed the apparatus will have applications in thin-layer phytoplankton research.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(010.4450) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Oceanic optics
(140.3450) Lasers and laser optics : Laser-induced chemistry
(260.2510) Physical optics : Fluorescence
(300.2530) Spectroscopy : Fluorescence, laser-induced
(280.1415) Remote sensing and sensors : Biological sensing and sensors
(010.1030) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Absorption

ToC Category:
Atmospheric and Oceanic Optics

Original Manuscript: April 8, 2008
Revised Manuscript: June 17, 2008
Manuscript Accepted: June 25, 2008
Published: July 22, 2008

Virtual Issues
Vol. 3, Iss. 9 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Thomas J. Bensky, Lisa Clemo, Chris Gilbert, Bryan Neff, Mark A. Moline, and Dov Rohan, "Observation of nanosecond laser induced fluorescence of in vitro seawater phytoplankton," Appl. Opt. 47, 3980-3986 (2008)

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