Abstract

The ability of ultraviolet resonance Raman spectroscopy (UVRRS) to determine structural, environmental, and analytical information concerning low-concentration aqueous biomolecules makes it a powerful bioanalytical and biophysical technique. Unfortunately, its utility has been limited by experimental requirements that preclude in situ or in vivo studies in most cases. We have developed the first high-performance fiber-optic probes suitable for long-term use in pulsed UVRRS applications in the deep- UV (DUV, 205–250 nm). The probes incorporate recently developed improved ultraviolet (IUV) fibers that do not exhibit the rapid solarization and throughput decay that previously hampered the use of optical fibers for delivering pulsed, DUV light. A novel 90° mirrored collection geometry is used to overcome the inner-filtering effects that plague flush-probe geometries. The IUV fibers are characterized with respect to their efficacy at transmitting pulsed, DUV laser light, and prototype probes are used to obtain pulsed UVRRS data of aromatic amino acids, proteins, and hormones at low concentrations with 205–240-nm pulsed excitation. Efficient probe geometries and fabrication methods are presented. The performance of the probes in examining resonance-enhanced Raman signals from absorbing chromophores is investigated, and the optimal excitation wavelength is shown to be significantly red-shifted from the maximum of the resonance Raman enhancement profile. Generally applicable procedures for determining optimal experimental conditions are also introduced.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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