A Michelson interferometer has been adapted as an excitation source for fluorescence spectroscopy. A moving fringe pattern was generated by linear displacement of the movable mirror of the Michelson interferometer coupled to a xenon-arc lamp. This spectrally modulated source was monitored by a reference photomultiplier and used for exciting a Rhodamine B solution. The fluorescence emission at >645 nm was detected by a second photomultiplier. The two interferograms were acquired by a dual-channel digital oscilloscope, and their discrete Fourier transforms and corresponding power spectra were generated in a computer. The power spectrum of the emission signal represented the excitation spectrum, as was confirmed by comparison with the absorption spectrum of Rhodamine B. This optical arrangement is well suited for acquiring fluorescence excitation spectra in the optical microscopy of biological specimens.
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