Single-Molecule Spectroscopy

Siegfried Hänselmann, Dirk-Peter Herten

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary


As modern research seeks understanding of processes on a fundamental and molecular level, single-molecule spectroscopy has become an important tool to access molecular distributions instead of mean values, resolve molecular heterogeneities, and detect rare or hidden events. Most single-molecule applications use fluorescence microscopy to monitor different states of the fluorescently labeled molecules. The readout can be as simple as the detection of fluorescence intensity (eg, in single-molecule tracking or fluorescence correlation spectroscopy) or its spectroscopic characteristics (eg, spectrum, excited-state lifetime, or polarization) reporting on related structural or dynamic changes. The fundamental principles and basic techniques required for single-molecule experiments are explained in this article.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Spectroscopy and Spectrometry
EditorsJohn C. Lindon, G. E. Tranter, D. W. Koppenaal
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9780128032251
ISBN (Print)9780128032244
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2016


  • Complex
  • Confocal
  • Fluorescence
  • Interaction
  • Kinetics
  • Light sheet
  • Microscopy
  • Near field
  • Protein
  • Quantification
  • Resolution
  • Sensitivity
  • Single molecule
  • Spectroscopy


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