Examining Nanoenvironments in Solids on the Scale of a Single, Isolated Impurity Molecule

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Science  01 Jul 1994:
Vol. 265, Issue 5168, pp. 46-53
DOI: 10.1126/science.265.5168.46


Optical spectroscopy of single impurity molecules in solids can be used as an exquisitely sensitive probe of the structure and dynamics of the specific local environment around the single molecule (the "nanoenvironment"). Recently observed effects such as spectral diffusion, perturbations by external fields, changes in molecular photophysics, shifts in vibrational modes, optical modification of the absorption spectrum, dynamics due to amorphous system physics, and magnetic resonance of a single molecular spin attest to the vitality of and growing interest in this new field, which may lead to optical storage on the single-molecule level.