Although the fluorescence time-scale is well-suited to follow many biological processes, often there is a requirement for processes to be monitored over longer time-scales. To access intrinsic amino acids, such as tryptophan, as probes, the UV excitation wavelengths for pulsed phosphorescence measurements have long been the preserve of low-repetition-rate gas-filled lamps or larger laser systems.
Recent developments have enabled the use of interchangeable semiconductor diodes, with their inherent ease of use. SpectraLEDs provide spectral coverage from the UV to the near-IR. They are adept for this type of measurement and have been previously used for the study of lanthanides and singlet oxygen. These sources do not exhibit a “tail” present with xenon flashlamps, and are able to run at higher repetition rates (several kHz).
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