Metal nanoclusters have interesting steady state fluorescence emission, two-photon excited emission and ultrafast dynamics. A new subclass of fluorescent silver nanoclusters (Ag NCs) are NanoCluster Beacons. NanoCluster Beacons consist of a weakly emissive Ag NC templated on a single stranded DNA ("Ag NC on ssDNA") that becomes highly fluorescent when a DNA enhancer sequence is brought in proximity to the Ag NC by DNA base pairing ("Ag NC on dsDNA"). Steady state fluorescence was observed at 540 nm for both Ag NC on ssDNA and dsDNA; emission at 650 nm is observed for Ag NC on dsDNA. The emission at 550 nm is eight times weaker than that at 650 nm. Fluorescence up-conversion was used to study the dynamics of the emission. Bi-exponential fluorescence decay was recorded at 550 nm with lifetimes of 1 ps and 17 ps. The emission at 650 nm was not observed at the time scale investigated but has been reported to have a lifetime of 3.48 ns. Two-photon excited fluorescence was detected for Ag NC on dsDNA at 630 nm when excited at 800 nm. The two-photon absorption cross-section was calculated to be ∼3000 GM. Femtosecond transient absorption experiments were performed to investigate the excited state dynamics of DNA-Ag NC. An excited state unique to Ag NC on dsDNA was identified at ∼580 nm as an excited state bleach that related directly to the emission at 650 nm based on the excitation spectrum. Based on the optical results, a simple four level system is used to describe the emission mechanism for Ag NC on dsDNA.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)