Abstract

Reproducible fluorescence spectra of individual 2- to 5μm-diameter biological aerosol particles excited with a single shot from a Q-switched laser (266 or 351  nm) have been obtained with highly improved signal-to-noise ratios. Critical to the advance are crossed diode-laser trigger beams, which precisely define the sample volume, and a reflecting objective, which minimizes chromatic aberration and has a large N.A.  for collecting fluorescence. Several allergens (red oak, meadow oat pollen, paper mulberry pollen, and puffball spores) have different fluorescence spectra. Bacillus subtilis fluorescence spectrum deteriorates at high 266-nm incident intensity. Dry riboflavin particles illuminated with a 351-nm light exhibit a new 420-nm fluorescence peak that grows nonlinearly with laser pulse energy.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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