- High repetition rate OPO system
- Ultrabroad tuning from 210 to 2600 nm
- More than 60 µJ output pulse energy in UV
- 1 kHz repetition rate
- High repetition rate OPO system
- Ultrabroad tuning from 210 to 2600 nm
- More than 60 µJ output pulse energy in UV
- 1 kHz repetition rate
Features & Applications
- Integrates DPSS pump laser and OPO into a single housing
- Hands-free no-gap wavelength tuning from 210 to 2600 nm
- 1000 Hz pulse repetition rate
- More than 60 µJ output pulse energy in UV
- Less than 5 cm⁻¹ linewidth
- 3 – 6 ns pulse duration
- Remote control via key pad or PC
- Optional separate output for the OPO pump beam 355 nm, 532 nm or 1064 nm
- Laser-induced fluorescence spectroscopy
- Pump-probe spectroscopy
- Non-linear spectroscopy
- Time-resolved spectroscopy
- Remote sensing
- Determination of the telescope throughput
- High repetition rate 1000 Hz enables fast data collection
- End pumping with diode technology ensures high reliability and low maintenance costs
- Narrow linewidth (down to 3 cm⁻¹) and superior tuning resolution (1 – 2 cm⁻¹) allow recording of high quality spectra
- High integration level saves valuable space in the laboratory
- In-house design and manufacturing of complete systems, including pump lasers, guarantees on-time warranty and post warranty services and spares supply
- Variety of control interfaces: USB, RS232, LAN and WLAN ensures easy control and integration with other equipment
- Attenuator and fiber coupling options facilitate incorporation of NT242 systems into various experimental environments
Description & Options
NT242 series lasers produce pulses at an unprecedented 1 kHz pulse repetition rate, tunable over a broad spectral range. Integrated into a single compact housing, the diode pumped Q-switched Nd:YAG laser and OPO offers hands‑free, no-gap tuning from 210 to 2600 nm. With its 1000 Hz repetition rate, the NT242 series laser establishes itself as a versatile tool for many laboratory applications, including laser induced fluorescence, flash photolysis, photobiology, metrology, remote sensing, etc.
NT242 series systems can be controlled from a remote control pad or/and a computer using supplied LabVIEW™ drivers. The control pad allows easy control of all parameters and features on a backlit display that is easy to read even with laser safety eyewear.
Thanks to a DPSS pump source, the laser requires little maintenance. It is equipped with air-cooled built-in chiller, which further reduces running costs. A built‑in OPO pump energy monitor allows monitoring of pump laser performance without the use of external power meters. The optional feature provides a separate output port for the 1064, 532 or 355 nm beam.
Accessories and optional items
|-SH||Tuning range extension in UV range (210 – 300 nm) by second harmonics generation|
|-SF||Tuning range extension in 300 – 405 nm range by sum-frequency generation|
|-SH/-SF||Tuning range extension in 210 – 405 nm range by combining second harmonics and sum-frequency generator outputs for maximum possible pulse energy|
|-SCU||Spectral filtering accessory for improved spectral purity of pulses|
|-H, -2H, -3H||1064, 532 and 355 nm output via separate port|
|Signal||405 – 710 nm|
|Idler||710 – 2600 nm|
|SH and SF||—||210 – 300 nm||300 – 405 nm||210 – 405 nm|
|Pulse energy 2)|
|SH and SF||—||40 µJ at 230 nm||60 µJ at 320 nm|
|Pulse repetition rate||1000 Hz|
|Pulse duration 3)||3 – 6 ns|
|Linewidth 4)||< 5 cm-1|
|Tuning resolution 5)|
|SH and SF||—||2 cm-1|
|SH and SF||—||vertical|
|Typical beam diameter 6)||3 × 6 mm|
|Pump wavelength 7)||355 nm||355 / 1064 nm|
|Typical pump pulse energy 8)||3 mJ||3 / 1 mJ|
|Pulse duration 3)||4 – 6 ns at 1064 nm|
|Unit size (W × L × H)||456 × 1040 × 297 mm|
|Power supply size (W × L × H)||520 × 400 × 286 mm|
|Umbilical length||2.5 m|
|Room temperature||18 – 27 °C|
|Relative humidity||20 – 80 % (non-condensing)|
|Power requirements||100 – 240 V AC, single phase 50/60 Hz|
|Power consumption||< 1.5 kVA|
- Due to continuous improvement, all specifications are subject to change. Parameters marked typical are illustrative; they are indications of typical performance and will vary with each unit we manufacture. Unless stated otherwise, all specifications are measured at 450 nm and for basic system without options.
- See tuning curves for typical outputs at other wavelengths.
- Measured at FWHM level with photodiode featuring 1 ns rise time and 300 MHz bandwidth oscilloscope.
- Linewidth is <8 cm⁻¹ for 210 – 405 nm range.
- For manual input from PC. When wavelength is controlled from keypad, tuning resolution is 0.1 nm for signal, 1 nm for idler and 0.05 nm for SH and SF.
- Beam diameter is measured at 450 nm at the 1/e2 level and can vary depending on the pump pulse energy.
- Separate output port for the 3rd and other harmonic are optional.
- The pump laser pulse energy will be optimized for best OPO performance. The actual pump laser output can vary with each unit we manufacture.
Note: Laser must be connected to the mains electricity all the time. If there will be no mains electricity for longer that 1 hour then laser (system) needs warm up for a few hours before switching on.
Performance & Drawings
Considerable matrix shift in the electronic transitions of helium-solvated cesium dimer cation Cs2He+n
We investigate the photodissociation of helium-solvated cesium dimer cations using action spectroscopy and quantum chemical calculations. The spectrum of Cs2He+ shows three distinct absorption bands into both bound and dissociative states. Upon solvation with further helium atoms, considerable shifts of the absorption bands are observed, exceeding 0.1 eV (850 cm−1) already for Cs2He10+, along with significant broadening. The shifts are highly sensitive to the character of the excited state. Our calculations show that helium atoms adsorb on the ends of Cs2+. The shifts are particularly pronounced if the excited state orbitals extend to the area occupied by the helium atoms. In this case, Pauli repulsion leads to a deformation of the excited state orbitals, resulting in the observed blue shift of the transition. Since the position of the weakly bound helium atoms is ill defined, Pauli repulsion also explains the broadening.
High-resolution multimodal photoacoustic microscopy and optical coherence tomography image-guided laser induced branch retinal vein occlusion in living rabbits
Joint high-resolution multimodal photoacoustic microscopy (PAM) and optical coherence tomography (OCT) was developed to improve the efficiency for visualizing newly developed retinal neovascularization (RNV) and to monitor the dynamic changes of retinal vein occlusion (RVO) in living rabbits. The RNV and RVO models were created in New Zealand rabbits by Rose Bengal laser-induced RVO. Dual modalities imaging equipment, including color fundus photography, fluorescein angiography (FA), OCT, and PAM, was used to image and assess the changes of retinal vasculature. In vivo experimental results exhibited that not only the treatment boundaries and the position of the occluded vasculature but also the structure of individual RNV were markedly observed using PAM platform with great resolution and high image contrast. The laser light energy of 80 nJ was used to induce photoacoustic signal, which is approximately half the energy of the American National Standards Institute safety limit. A cross-sectional structure of RNV was identified with the OCT modality. Furthermore, vibrant transformations in the RNV and the retinal morphology were examined at different times after laser occlusion: days 4, 28, 35, 49, and 90. PAM revealed high contrast and high resolution vascular imaging of the retina and choroid with amplified penetration depth. Through the present custom-built imaging system, both RNV and RVO can be reconstructed and observed in two and three dimensions. A unique dual modality A unique dual modality PAM and OCT can help precisely visualize and distinguish individual microvessels, microvessel depth, and the surrounding anatomy. Thus, the proposed multimodal ocular imaging platform may offer a potential equipment to enhance classification of microvasculature in a reliable and proficient manner in larger rabbit eyes.
Impact of molecular quadrupole moments on the energy levels at organic heterojunctions
The functionality of organic semiconductor devices crucially depends on molecular energies, namely the ionisation energy and the electron affinity. Ionisation energy and electron affinity values of thin films are, however, sensitive to film morphology and composition, making their prediction challenging. In a combined experimental and simulation study on zinc-phthalocyanine and its fluorinated derivatives, we show that changes in ionisation energy as a function of molecular orientation in neat films or mixing ratio in blends are proportional to the molecular quadrupole component along the π-π-stacking direction. We apply these findings to organic solar cells and demonstrate how the electrostatic interactions can be tuned to optimise the energy of the charge-transfer state at the donor−acceptor interface and the dissociation barrier for free charge carrier generation. The confirmation of the correlation between interfacial energies and quadrupole moments for other materials indicates its relevance for small molecules and polymers.
High-resolution, high-contrast mid-infrared imaging of fresh biological samples with ultraviolet-localized photoacoustic microscopy
Mid-infrared (MIR) microscopy provides rich chemical and structural information about biological samples, without staining. Conventionally, the long MIR wavelength severely limits the lateral resolution owing to optical diffraction; moreover, the strong MIR absorption of water ubiquitous in fresh biological samples results in high background and low contrast. To overcome these limitations, we propose a method that employs photoacoustic detection highly localized with a pulsed ultraviolet laser on the basis of the Grüneisen relaxation effect. For cultured cells, our method achieves water-background suppressed MIR imaging of lipids and proteins at ultraviolet resolution, at least an order of magnitude finer than the MIR diffraction limits. Label-free histology using this method is also demonstrated in thick brain slices. Our approach provides convenient high-resolution and high-contrast MIR imaging, which can benefit the diagnosis of fresh biological samples.
Contrast Agent Enhanced Multimodal Photoacoustic Microscopy and Optical Coherence Tomography for Imaging of Rabbit Choroidal and Retinal Vessels in vivo
Multimodal imaging with photoacoustic microscopy (PAM) and optical coherence tomography (OCT) can be an effective method to evaluate the choroidal and retinal microvasculature. To improve the efficiency for visualizing capillaries, colloidal gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) have been applied as a multimodal contrast agent for both OCT and PAM imaging by taking advantage of the strong optical scattering and the strong optical absorption of AuNPs due to their surface plasmon resonance. Ultra-pure AuNPs were fabricated by femtosecond laser ablation, capped with polyethylene glycol (PEG), and administered to 13 New Zealand white rabbits and 3 Dutch Belted pigmented rabbits. The synthesized PEG-AuNPs (20.0 ± 1.5 nm) were demonstrated to be excellent contrast agents for PAM and OCT, and do not demonstrate cytotoxicity to bovine retinal endothelial cells in cell studies. The image signal from the retinal and choroidal vessels in living rabbits was enhanced by up to 82% for PAM and up to 45% for OCT, respectively, by the administered PEG-AuNPs, which enables detection of individual blood vessels by both imaging modalities. The biodistribution study demonstrated the AuNP accumulated primarily in the liver and spleen. Histology and TUNEL staining did not indicate cell injury or death in the lung, liver, kidney, spleen, heart, or eyes up to seven days after AuNP administration. PEG-AuNPs offer an efficient and safe contrast agent for multimodal ocular imaging to achieve improved characterization of microvasculature.
Luminescence spectroscopy of oxazine dye cations isolated in vacuo
Related applications: Photoluminescence Spectroscopy
Here we report gas-phase action and luminescence spectra of cationic dyes derived from oxazine: cresyl violet (CV+), oxazine 170 (Ox-170+), nile blue (NB+), darrow red (DR+), oxazine 1 (Ox-1+), oxazine 4 (Ox-4+), and brilliant cresyl blue (BCB+). The first four have a benzofused structure, which results in asymmetric charge distributions along the long axis. The positive charge is also asymmetrically distributed in BCB+ while Ox-1+ and Ox-4+ are symmetric. As the ions are isolated in vacuo, there are no interactions with solvent molecules or counter ions, and the effect of chemical modifications is therefore more easily revealed than from solution-phase experiments. The transition energy decreases in the order: DR+ > CV+ > Ox-4+ > Ox-170+ > BCB+ > Ox-1+ > NB+, and the fluorescence from BCB+ is less than from the others. We discuss the results based on electron delocalisation, degree of charge-transfer character, rigidity of the chromophore structure, and substituents.
Electronic spectroscopy and nanocalorimetry of hydrated magnesium ions [Mg(H2O)n]+, n = 20–70: spontaneous formation of a hydrated electron?
Related applications: Photolysis
Hydrated singly charged magnesium ions [Mg(H2O)n]+ are thought to consist of an Mg2+ ion and a hydrated electron for n > 15. This idea is based on mass spectra, which exhibit a transition from [MgOH(H2O)n−1]+ to [Mg(H2O)n]+ around n = 15–22, black-body infrared radiative dissociation, and quantum chemical calculations. Here, we present photodissociation spectra of size-selected [Mg(H2O)n]+ in the range of n = 20–70 measured for photon energies of 1.0–5.0 eV. The spectra exhibit a broad absorption from 1.4 to 3.2 eV, with two local maxima around 1.7–1.8 eV and 2.1–2.5 eV, depending on cluster size. The spectra shift slowly from n = 20 to n = 50, but no significant change is observed for n = 50–70. Quantum chemical modeling of the spectra yields several candidates for the observed absorptions, including five- and six-fold coordinated Mg2+ with a hydrated electron in its immediate vicinity, as well as a solvent-separated Mg2+/e− pair. The photochemical behavior resembles that of the hydrated electron, with barrierless interconversion into the ground state following the excitation.
High-resolution, in vivo multimodal photoacoustic microscopy, optical coherence tomography, and fluorescence microscopy imaging of rabbit retinal neovascularization
Photoacoustic microscopy (PAM) is an emerging imaging technology that can non-invasively visualize ocular structures in animal eyes. This report describes an integrated multimodality imaging system that combines PAM, optical coherence tomography (OCT), and fluorescence microscopy (FM) to evaluate angiogenesis in larger animal eyes. High-resolution in vivo imaging was performed in live rabbit eyes with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-induced retinal neovascularization (RNV). The results demonstrate that our multimodality imaging system can non-invasively visualize RNV in both albino and pigmented rabbits to determine retinal pathology using PAM and OCT and verify the leakage of neovascularization using FM and fluorescein dye. This work presents high-resolution visualization of angiogenesis in rabbits using a multimodality PAM, OCT, and FM system and may represent a major step toward the clinical translation of the technology.
Photochemistry and spectroscopy of small hydrated magnesium clusters Mg+(H2O)n, n = 1–5
Related applications: Photolysis
Hydrated singly charged magnesium ions Mg+(H2O)n, n ≤ 5, in the gas phase are ideal model systems to study photochemical hydrogen evolution since atomic hydrogen is formed over a wide range of wavelengths, with a strong cluster size dependence. Mass selected clusters are stored in the cell of an Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer at a temperature of 130 K for several seconds, which allows thermal equilibration via blackbody radiation. Tunable laser light is used for photodissociation. Strong transitions to D1–3 states (correlating with the 3s-3px,y,z transitions of Mg+) are observed for all cluster sizes, as well as a second absorption band at 4–5 eV for n = 3-5. Due to the lifted degeneracy of the 3px,y,z energy levels of Mg+, the absorptions are broad and red shifted with increasing coordination number of the Mg+ center, from 4.5 eV for n = 1 to 1.8 eV for n = 5. In all cases, H atom formation is the dominant photochemical reaction channel. Quantum chemical calculations using the full range of methods for excited state calculations reproduce the experimental spectra and explain all observed features. In particular, they show that H atom formation occurs in excited states, where the potential energy surface becomes repulsive along the O⋯H coordinate at relatively small distances. The loss of H2O, although thermochemically favorable, is a minor channel because, at least for the clusters n = 1-3, the conical intersection through which the system could relax to the electronic ground state is too high in energy. In some absorption bands, sequential absorption of multiple photons is required for photodissociation. For n = 1, these multiphoton spectra can be modeled on the basis of quantum chemical calculations.
Photodissociation of Sodium Iodide Clusters Doped with Small Hydrocarbons
Related applications: Photolysis
Marine aerosols consist of a variety of compounds and play an important role in many atmospheric processes. In the present study, sodium iodide clusters with their simple isotope pattern serve as model systems for laboratory studies to investigate the role of iodide in the photochemical processing of sea‐salt aerosols. Salt clusters doped with camphor, formate and pyruvate are studied in a Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer (FT‐ICR MS) coupled to a tunable laser system in both UV and IR range. The analysis is supported by ab initio calculations of absorption spectra and energetics of dissociative channels. We provide quantitative analysis of IRMPD measurements by reconstructing one‐photon spectra and comparing them with the calculated ones. While neutral camphor is adsorbed on the cluster surface, the formate and pyruvate ions replace an iodide ion. The photodissociation spectra revealed several wavelength‐specific fragmentation pathways, including the carbon dioxide radical anion formed by photolysis of pyruvate. Camphor and pyruvate doped clusters absorb in the spectral region above 290 nm, which is relevant for tropospheric photochemistry, leading to internal conversion followed by intramolecular vibrational redistribution, which leads to decomposition of the cluster. Potential photodissociation products of pyruvate in the actinic region may be formed with a cross section of <2×10−20 cm2, determined by the experimental noise level.
Lipofuscin-mediated photic stress inhibits phagocytic activity of ARPE-19 cells; effect of donors’ age and antioxidants
The risk of chronic oxidative stress in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) increases with age due to accumulation of the photoreactive age pigment lipofuscin (LFG). Here, we asked whether sublethal and weakly lethal photic stress, induced by irradiation of ARPE-19 cells containing phagocytised LFG, affected the cell specific phagocytic activity, which is critically important for proper functioning and survival of the retina, and if natural antioxidants could modify the observed outcomes. ARPE-19 cells preloaded with LFG isolated from human donors of different age or containing LFG enriched with zeaxanthin and α-tocopherol (LFG-A), were irradiated with blue light. Phagocytosis of fluorescein-5-isothiocyanate (FITC)-labelled photoreceptor outer segments was determined by flow cytometry. Photoreactivity of LFG and LFG-A was analysed by measuring photoconsumption of oxygen and photogeneration of singlet oxygen mediated by the granules. LFG-mediated photic stress in ARPE-19 cells induced significant inhibition of their specific phagocytosis. The inhibitory effect increased with age of LFG donors and was reduced by enrichment of the granules with antioxidants. Oxygen consumption and generation of singlet oxygen induced by the photoexcited LFG increased with donor’s age and was partially quenched by antioxidants. Although the phototoxic potential of lipofuscin increased with age, natural antioxidants reduced photoreactivity of LFG and their efficiency to induce oxidative stress. This study has demonstrated, for the first time, that mild oxidative stress, mediated by the age pigment lipofuscin, impairs specific phagocytic activity of RPE, and that natural antioxidants can protect this important cellular function by reducing lipofuscin photoreactivity.
Potassium Iodide Potentiates Antimicrobial Photodynamic Inactivation Mediated by Rose Bengal in In Vitro and In Vivo Studies
Rose bengal (RB) is a halogenated xanthene dye that has been used to mediate antimicrobial photodynamic inactivation for several years. While RB is highly active against Gram-positive bacteria, it is largely inactive in killing Gram-negative bacteria. We have discovered that addition of the nontoxic salt potassium iodide (100 mM) potentiates green light (540-nm)-mediated killing by up to 6 extra logs with the Gram-negative bacteria Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the Gram-positive bacterium methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and the fungal yeast Candida albicans. The mechanism is proposed to be singlet oxygen addition to iodide anion to form peroxyiodide, which decomposes into radicals and, finally, forms hydrogen peroxide and molecular iodine. The effects of these different bactericidal species can be teased apart by comparing the levels of killing achieved in three different scenarios: (i) cells, RB, and KI are mixed together and then illuminated with green light; (ii) cells and RB are centrifuged, and then KI is added and the mixture is illuminated with green light; and (iii) RB and KI are illuminated with green light, and then cells are added after illumination with the light. We also showed that KI could potentiate RB photodynamic therapy in a mouse model of skin abrasions infected with bioluminescent P. aeruginosa.
Photoacoustic imaging of voltage responses beyond the optical diffusion limit
Non-invasive optical imaging of neuronal voltage response signals in live brains is constrained in depth by the optical diffusion limit, which is due primarily to optical scattering by brain tissues. Although photoacoustic tomography breaks this limit by exciting the targets with diffused photons and detecting the resulting acoustic responses, it has not been demonstrated as a modality for imaging voltage responses. In this communication, we report the first demonstration of photoacoustic voltage response imaging in both in vitro HEK-293 cell cultures and in vivo mouse brain surfaces. Using spectroscopic photoacoustic tomography at isosbestic wavelengths, we can separate voltage response signals and hemodynamic signals on live brain surfaces. By imaging HEK-293 cell clusters through 4.5 mm thick ex vivo rat brain tissue, we demonstrate photoacoustic tomography of cell membrane voltage responses beyond the optical diffusion limit. Although the current voltage dye does not immediately allow in vivo deep brain voltage response imaging, we believe our method opens up a feasible technical path for deep brain studies in the future.
Photodissociation spectroscopy of protonated leucine enkephalin
Related applications: Photolysis
Protonated leucine enkephalin (YGGFL) was studied by ultraviolet photodissociation (UVPD) from 225 to 300 nm utilizing an optical parametric oscillator tunable wavelength laser system (OPO). Fragments were identified by absolute mass measurement in a 9.4 T Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer (FT-ICR MS). Bond cleavage was preferred in the vicinity of the two aromatic residues, resulting in high ion abundances for a4, a1, b3, y2 and y1 fragments. a, b and y ions dominated the mass spectrum, and full sequence coverage was achieved for those types. Photodissociation was most effective at the short wavelength end of the studied range, which is assigned to the onset of the La π–π* transition of the tyrosine chromophore, but worked well also at the Lb π–π* chromophore absorption maxima in the 35 000–39 000 cm−1 region. Several side-chain and internal fragments were observed. H atom loss is observed only above 41 000 cm−1, consistent with the requirement of a curve crossing to a repulsive 1πσ* state. It is suggested that the photochemically generated mobile H atom plays a role in further backbone cleavages, similar to the mechanism for electron capture dissociation. The b4 fragment is most intense at the Lb chromophore absorptions, undergoing additional fragmentation at higher photon energies. The high resolution of the FT-ICR MS revealed that out of all x and z-type fragments only x3 and x4 were formed, with low intensity. Other previously reported x- and z-fragments were re-assigned to internal fragments, based on exact mass measurement.
Aerobic photoreactivity of synthetic eumelanins and pheomelanins: generation of singlet oxygen and superoxide anion
In this work, we examined photoreactivity of synthetic eumelanins, formed by autooxidation of DOPA, or enzymatic oxidation of 5,6‐dihydroxyindole‐2‐carboxylic acid and synthetic pheomelanins obtained by enzymatic oxidation of 5‐S‐cysteinyldopa or 1:1 mixture of DOPA and cysteine. Electron paramagnetic resonance oximetry and spin trapping were used to measure oxygen consumption and formation of superoxide anion induced by irradiation of melanin with blue light, and time‐resolved near‐infrared luminescence was employed to determine the photoformation of singlet oxygen between 300 and 600 nm. Both superoxide anion and singlet oxygen were photogenerated by the synthetic melanins albeit with different efficiency. At 450‐nm, quantum yield of singlet oxygen was very low (~10−4) but it strongly increased in the UV region. The melanins quenched singlet oxygen efficiently, indicating that photogeneration and quenching of singlet oxygen may play an important role in aerobic photochemistry of melanin pigments and could contribute to their photodegradation and photoaging.
A cylindrical quadrupole ion trap in combination with an electrospray ion source for gas-phase luminescence and absorption spectroscopy
A relatively simple setup for collection and detection of light emitted from isolated photo-excited molecular ions has been constructed. It benefits from a high collection efficiency of photons, which is accomplished by using a cylindrical ion trap where one end-cap electrode is a mesh grid combined with an aspheric condenser lens. The geometry permits nearly 10% of the emitted light to be collected and, after transmission losses, approximately 5% to be delivered to the entrance of a grating spectrometer equipped with a detector array. The high collection efficiency enables the use of pulsed tunable lasers with low repetition rates (e.g., 20 Hz) instead of continuous wave (cw) lasers or very high repetition rate (e.g., MHz) lasers that are typically used as light sources for gas-phase fluorescence experiments on molecular ions. A hole has been drilled in the cylinder electrode so that a light pulse can interact with the ion cloud in the center of the trap. Simulations indicate that these modifications to the trap do not significantly affect the storage capability and the overall shape of the ion cloud. The overlap between the ion cloud and the laser light is basically 100%, and experimentally >50% of negatively charged chromophore ions are routinely photodepleted. The performance of the setup is illustrated based on fluorescence spectra of several laser dyes, and the quality of these spectra is comparable to those reported by other groups. Finally, by replacing the optical system with a channeltron detector, we demonstrate that the setup can also be used for gas-phase action spectroscopy where either depletion or fragmentation is monitored to provide an indirect measurement on the absorption spectrum of the ion.
Roles of reactive oxygen species in UVA‐induced oxidation of 5,6‐dihydroxyindole‐2‐carboxylic acid‐melanin as studied by differential spectrophotometric method
Eumelanin photoprotects pigmented tissues from ultraviolet (UV) damage. However, UVA‐induced tanning seems to result from the photooxidation of preexisting melanin and does not contribute to photoprotection. We investigated the mechanism of UVA‐induced degradation of 5,6‐dihydroxyindole‐2‐carboxylic acid (DHICA)‐melanin taking advantage of its solubility in a neutral buffer and using a differential spectrophotometric method to detect subtle changes in its structure. Our methodology is suitable for examining the effects of various agents that interact with reactive oxygen species (ROS) to determine how ROS is involved in the UVA‐induced oxidative modifications. The results show that UVA radiation induces the oxidation of DHICA to indole‐5,6‐quinone‐2‐carboxylic acid in eumelanin, which is then cleaved to form a photodegraded, pyrrolic moiety and finally to form free pyrrole‐2,3,5‐tricarboxylic acid. The possible involvement of superoxide radical and singlet oxygen in the oxidation was suggested. The generation and quenching of singlet oxygen by DHICA‐melanin was confirmed by direct measurements of singlet oxygen phosphorescence.
Competition between recombination and extraction of free charges determines the fill factor of organic solar cells
Related applications: Time Resolved Photoconductivity
Among the parameters that characterize a solar cell and define its power-conversion efficiency, the fill factor is the least well understood, making targeted improvements difficult. Here we quantify the competition between charge extraction and recombination by using a single parameter θ, and we demonstrate that this parameter is directly related to the fill factor of many different bulk-heterojunction solar cells. Our finding is supported by experimental measurements on 15 different donor:acceptor combinations, as well as by drift-diffusion simulations of organic solar cells in which charge-carrier mobilities, recombination rate, light intensity, energy levels and active-layer thickness are all varied over wide ranges to reproduce typical experimental conditions. The results unify the fill factors of several very different donor:acceptor combinations and give insight into why fill factors change so much with thickness, light intensity and materials properties. To achieve fill factors larger than 0.8 requires further improvements in charge transport while reducing recombination.
Optogenetic control of insulin secretion by pancreatic β-cells in vitro and in vivo
Related applications: Biomedical
The present study assessed the ability of optogenetics techniques to provide a better understanding of the control of insulin secretion, particularly regarding pancreatic β-cell function in homeostasis and pathological conditions such as diabetes mellitus (DM). We used optogenetics to investigate whether insulin secretion and blood glucose homeostasis could be controlled by regulating intracellular calcium ion concentrations ([Ca2+]i) in a mouse pancreatic β-cell line (MIN6) transfected with the optogenetic protein channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2). The ChR2-transfected MIN6 (ChR2-MIN6) cells secreted insulin following irradiation with a laser (470 nm). The increase in [Ca2+]i was accompanied by elevated levels of messenger RNAs that encode calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II delta and adenylate cyclase 1. ChR2-MIN6 cells suspended in matrigel were inoculated into streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice that were then subjected to a glucose tolerance test. Laser irradiation of these mice caused a significant decrease in blood glucose, and the irradiated implanted cells expressed insulin. These findings demonstrate the power of optogenetics to precisely and efficiently controlled insulin secretion by pancreatic β-cells ‘on demand', in contrast to techniques using growth factors or chemical inducers. Optogenetic technology shows great promise for understanding the mechanisms of glucose homeostasis and for developing treatments for metabolic diseases such as DM.
Efficient charge generation by relaxed charge-transfer states at organic interfaces
Related applications: Time Resolved Photoconductivity
Interfaces between organic electron-donating (D) and electron-accepting (A) materials have the ability to generate charge carriers on illumination. Efficient organic solar cells require a high yield for this process, combined with a minimum of energy losses. Here, we investigate the role of the lowest energy emissive interfacial charge-transfer state (CT1) in the charge generation process. We measure the quantum yield and the electric field dependence of charge generation on excitation of the charge-transfer (CT) state manifold via weakly allowed, low-energy optical transitions. For a wide range of photovoltaic devices based on polymer:fullerene, small-molecule:C60 and polymer:polymer blends, our study reveals that the internal quantum efficiency (IQE) is essentially independent of whether or not D, A or CT states with an energy higher than that of CT1 are excited. The best materials systems show an IQE higher than 90% without the need for excess electronic or vibrational energy.
Photogeneration and reactions of benzhydryl cations and radicals: A complex sequence of mechanisms from femtoseconds to microseconds
Benzhydryl radicals and cations are reactive intermediates central to the understanding of organic reactivity. They can be generated from benzhydryl halides by UV irradiation. We performed transient absorption (TA) measurements over the range from femtoseconds to microseconds to unravel the complete reaction scheme. The 290–720-nm probe range allows the unambiguous monitoring of all fragments. The appearance of the radical is delayed to the optical excitation, the onset of the cation signal is found even later. Ab initio calculations show that this non-rate behavior in the 100 fs range is due to wavepacket motion from the Franck–Condon region to two distinct conical intersections. The rise of the optical signal with a quasi-exponential time of 300 fs is assigned to the planarization and solvation of the photoproducts. The bond cleavage predominantly generates radical pairs. A subsequent electron transfer (ET) transforms radical pairs into ion pairs. Due to the broad interradical distance distribution and the distance dependence, the ET is strongly non-exponential. Part of the ion pairs recombine geminately. The ET and the recombination are terminated by the depletion of close pairs and diffusional separation. The remaining free radicals and cations undergo further reactions in the nanosecond to microsecond regime.
The Pan-STARRS1 Photometric System : Photometrical calibration of telescope
Related applications: Metrology
The Pan-STARRS1 survey is collecting multi-epoch, multi-color observations of the sky north of declination −30° to unprecedented depths. These data are being photometrically and astrometrically calibrated and will serve as a reference for many other purposes. In this paper, we present our determination of the Pan-STARRS1 photometric system: gP1, rP1, iP1, zP1, γP1, and ωP1. The Pan-STARRS1 photometric system is fundamentally based on the Hubble Space Telescope Calspec spectrophotometric observations, which in turn are fundamentally based on models of white dwarf atmospheres. We define the Pan-STARRS1 magnitude system and describe in detail our measurement of the system passbands, including both the instrumental sensitivity and atmospheric transmission functions. By-products, including transformations to other photometric systems, Galactic extinction, and stellar locus, are also provided. We close with a discussion of remaining systematic errors.
Precise Throughput Determination of the PanSTARRS Telescope and the Gigapixel Imager Using a Calibrated Silicon Photodiode and a Tunable Laser: Initial Results
Related applications: Metrology
We have used a precision-calibrated photodiode as the fundamental metrology reference in order to determine the relative throughput of the PanSTARRS telescope and the Gigapixel imager, from 400 nm to 1050 nm. Our technique uses a tunable laser as a source of illumination on a transmissive flat-field screen. We determine the full-aperture system throughput as a function of wavelength, including (in a single integral measurement) the mirror reflectivity, the transmission functions of the filters and the corrector optics, and the detector quantum efficiency, by comparing the light seen by each pixel in the CCD array to that measured by a precision-calibrated silicon photodiode. This method allows us to determine the relative throughput of the entire system as a function of wavelength, for each pixel in the instrument, without observations of celestial standards. We present promising initial results from this characterization of the PanSTARRS system, and we use synthetic photometry to assess the photometric perturbations due to throughput variation across the field of view.