Dissymmetries in fluorescence excitation and emission from single chiral molecules

Ruthanne Hassey-Paradise, Austin Cyphersmith, Anna May Tilley, Tim Mortsolf, Dipankur Basak, Dhandapani Venkataraman, Michael D. Barnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chirality in molecular systems plays profoundly important roles in chemistry and physics. Most chemistry students are introduced to the concept of chirality through demonstrations of the interaction of chiral molecules with polarized light manifested as an "optical rotation" leading to the "(+)" and "(-)" [or dextrorotatory (d-) and levorotatory (l-)] designations of chiral compounds, with the subsequent determination of absolute stereochemical configuration by chemical or physical means enabling application of the familiar "R" and "S" labels. Although the intrinsic molecular parameters that control the dissymmetric light-matter interaction in chiral systems are well understood, we have only recently begun to ask questions regarding the role of local molecular environment and hidden heterogeneities associated with the ensembleaveraged molecular chiroptical response. In this mini-review, we discuss some of our recent research on application of single-molecule spectroscopy as a tool for probing heterogeneities and fluctuations of chiroptical dissymmetries in condensed phase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E265-E276
Issue number1 E
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Chiroptical spectroscopy
  • Circularly polarized luminescence
  • Fluorescence excitation
  • Single-molecule

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Catalysis
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Spectroscopy
  • Organic Chemistry


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