Photon-by-photon determination of emission bursts from diffusing single chromophores

Kai Zhang, Haw Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


One of the difficulties in diffusion-type single-molecule experiments is the determination of signal amid photon-counting noise. A commonly used approach is to further average the noisy time trace by binning, followed by placing a threshold to discriminate signal from background. The choice of smoothing parameters and the placement of the threshold may impact on the efficiency with which the information-rich region can be harvested, among other potential complications. Here we introduce a procedure that operates on the data sequence photon by photon, thereby relieving the incertitude in choosing binning-thresholding parameters. We characterize this procedure by detecting the two-photon emission bursts from diffusing single gold nanoparticles. The results support our burst-finding procedure as a reliable and efficient way of detecting and harvesting photon bursts from diffusing experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21930-21937
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number46
StatePublished - Nov 24 2005
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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