Journal of the European Optical Society - Rapid publications, Vol 4 (2009)

Comparison of photoluminescence properties of semiconductor quantum dots and non-blinking diamond nanoparticles and observation of the diffusion of diamond nanoparticles in cells

O. Faklaris, D. Garrot, V. Joshi, J. P. Boudou, T. Sauvage, P. Curmi, F. Treussart


Long term observations of photoluminescence at the single-molecule level were until recently very difficult, due to the photobleaching of organic fluorophore molecules. Although the inorganic semiconductor nanocrystals can overcome this difficulty showing very low photobleaching yield, they suffer from photoblinking. A new marker has been recently introduced, relying on diamond nanoparticles containing photoluminescent color centers. In this work we compare the photoluminescence of single quantum dots (QDs) to the one of nanodiamonds containing a single-color center. Contrary to other markers, photoluminescent nanodiamonds present a perfect photostability and no photoblinking. At saturation of their excitation, nanodiamonds photoluminescent intensity is only three times smaller that the one of QDs. Moreover, the bright and perfectly stable photoluminescence of nanodiamonds allows wide field observations of single nanoparticles motion. We demonstrate the possibility to follow the trajectory of such single particle in cells in culture and characterize its diffusion.

© The Authors. All rights reserved. [DOI: 10.2971/jeos.2009.09035]

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