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Discrete Intensity Jumps and Intramolecular Electronic Energy Transfer in the Spectroscopy of Single Conjugated Polymer Molecules

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Science  22 Aug 1997:
Vol. 277, Issue 5329, pp. 1074-1077
DOI: 10.1126/science.277.5329.1074

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Abstract

Single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy of a multichromophoric conjugated polymer (molecular weight ∼20,000) revealed surprising single-step photobleaching kinetics and acute jumps in fluorescence intensity. These jumps were shown not to result from spectral diffusion and were attributed to fluctuations in the quantum yield of emission for the molecules. The data indicate efficient intramolecular electronic energy transfer along the polymer chain to a localized fluorescence-quenching polymer defect. The defects are created by reversible photochemistry of the polymer. These findings have implications for the use of conjugated polymers in light-emitting diode displays and sensors.

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