Universiteit Leiden

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Optical properties of DNA-hosted silver clusters

Promotor: D. Bouwmeester, Co-promotor: D. Kraft

Nemanja Markešević
16 december 2015
Thesis in Leiden Repository

DNA-hosted silver clusters (Ag:DNAs) have attracted a lot of attention due to their small size (~20 atoms), wide range of applications in chemistry and biology, and sequence-dependent optical tunability. Most of the previous studies are focused on the ensemble of emitters in solution. However, little is known about the optical properties of individual emitters, which is a crucial step towards understanding of their real nature, otherwise lost in ensemble averaging. We show that the excitation and emission spectra of individual emitters are broad even at 1.7 K (FWHM ~25 nm). Also, polarization measurements indicate that the excitation is not strongly dependent on the polarization of excitation light, whereas the emission is highly linearly polarized. Furthermore, from time-resolved measurements, we can conclude that the emission of single emitters can be fitted with single exponential decay curve, whereas the emitters organized with nanometer precision on the DNA scaffolds show double–exponential decay. This indicates the interaction between densely packed Ag:DNAs. Finally, we show that the DNA tubes can be used as a nano-contact glue between the colloidal particles functionalized with short DNA strands.