Combined TIRF-AFM setup: Controlled quenching of individual quantum dots

Rainer Eckel, Volker Walhorn, Christoph Pelargus, Jörg Martini, Thomas Nann, Dario Anselmetti, Robert Ros

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations


Single molecules can nowadays be investigated by means of optical, mechanical and electrical methods. Fluorescence imaging and spectroscopy yield valuable and quantitative information about the optical properties and the spatial distribution of single molecules. Force spectroscopy by atomic force microscopy (AFM) or optical tweezers allows addressing, manipulation and quantitative probing of the nanomechanical properties of individual macromolecules. We present a combined AFM and total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy setup that enables ultrasensitive laser induced fluorescence detection of individual fluorophores, control of the AFM probe position in x, y and z-direction with nanometer precision, and simultaneous investigation of optical and mechanical properties at the single molecule level. Here, we present the distance-controlled quenching of semiconductor quantum dot clusters with an AFM tip. In future applications, fluorescence resonant energy transfer between single donor and acceptor molecules will be investigated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes
EventUltrasensitive and Single-Molecule Detection Technologies - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 21 2006Jan 24 2006


OtherUltrasensitive and Single-Molecule Detection Technologies
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose, CA


  • AFM
  • Quantum Dots
  • Single Molecule Manipulation
  • TIRF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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