Luminescent lanthanide chelates have unusual spectroscopic characteristics that make them valuable alternative probes to conventional organic fluorophores. However, fundamental parameters such as their quantum yield, and radiative and nonradiative decay rates have been difficult or impossible to measure. We have developed a simple and robust method based on resonance energy transfer to accurately measure these parameters. In addition, the excitation/emission process in lanthanide chelates involves several steps, and we are able to quantify each step. These include excitation of an organic antenna, transfer of energy from the antenna to lanthanide, and then lanthanide emission. Overall, the parameters show that lanthanide chelates can be efficient long-lived emitters, making them sensitive detection reagents and excellent donors in resonance energy transfer. The method is also shown to be applicable to photophysical characterization of red-emitting dyes, which are difficult to characterize by conventional means.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry