Single molecule dynamics studied by polarization modulation

T. Ha, Th Enderle, D. S. Chemla, P. R. Selvin, S. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We observed and made unambiguous distinctions between abrupt photophysical events of single molecules: a rotational jump of a single dipole, a transition to a dark state (reversible and irreversible photobleaching), and a spectral jump. The study was performed in the far field by modulating the excitation polarization and monitoring the fluorescence in time. This technique also allowed us to measure the in-plane dipole orientation of stationary single molecular dipoles with subdegree accuracy and to resolve desorption and readsorption of fluorophores from and onto a glass surface. In one case, clear evidence was obtained for rapid rotation of the dipole after a desorption process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3979-3982
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number19
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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