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Steen Brøndsted Nielsen to receive NOVO grant

A Novo Nordisk project grant of 2 939 940 DKK has been granted Steen Brøndsted in connection to his work at IFA on fluorescent molecules

Steen Brøndsted Nielsen. Photo: AU
Steen Brøndsted Nielsen. Photo: AU

The application is titled "New Light on the Intrinsic Photophysics of Fluorescent Molecules from Gas-Phase Ion Spectroscopy"

Hold a flash lamp to your hand and it will light up red as tissue transparency is highest in the red region of the visible spectrum. Hence red-emitting dyes or fluorescent proteins are advantageous for visualization purposes in biotechnology but current ones unfortunately suffer from low quantum efficiencies, and there is a strong interest in new design ideas. One obstacle for success is limited knowledge of microenvironmental effects on the spectroscopic properties of the fluorescent species. How does a single water molecule or an electric field provided by a nearby charge affect the emission? In this project I will take a new approach and identify the impact of each interaction in separate experiments, a bottom-up approach so-to-speak. I will start with the photoactive species (often an ion) isolated by itself in vacuo and add one perturbation at a time. Advanced and unique mass spectroscopy setups developed in my lab will be used to measure changes in absorption and fluorescence. (lay text from application).

Many interesting and well tasting dyes are fluorescent! The diagram has been borrowed from: P. Dedecker et al.J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1352387 (2013).