Spectroscopic Characterization of Coumarin-Stained Beads: Quantification of the Number of Fluorophores Per Particle with Solid-State F-19-NMR and Measurement of Absolute Fluorescence Quantum Yields

Structural Analysis Division, BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, Berlin, Germany.
Analytical Chemistry (Impact Factor: 5.64). 03/2012; 84(8):3654-61. DOI: 10.1021/ac3000682
Source: PubMed


The rational design of nano- and micrometer-sized particles with tailor-made optical properties for biological, diagnostic, and photonic applications requires tools to characterize the signal-relevant properties of these typically scattering bead suspensions. This includes methods for the preferably nondestructive quantification of the number of fluorophores per particle and the measurement of absolute fluorescence quantum yields and absorption coefficients of suspensions of fluorescent beads for material performance optimization and comparison. Here, as a first proof-of-concept, we present the first time determination of the number of dye molecules per bead using nondestructive quantitative ((19)F) NMR spectroscopy and 1000 nm-sized carboxylated polystyrene particles loaded with varying concentrations of the laser dye coumarin 153 containing a CF(3) group. Additionally, the signal-relevant optical properties of these dye-loaded particles were determined in aqueous suspension in comparison to the free dye in solvents of different polarity with a custom-built integrating sphere setup that enables spectrally resolved measurements of emission, transmission, and reflectance as well absolute fluorescence quantum yields. These measurements present an important step toward absolute brightness values and quantitative fluorescence analysis with particle systems that can be exploited, for example, for optical imaging techniques and different fluorescence assays as well as for the metrological traceability of fluorescence methods.

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