Abstract

Single terrylene molecules embedded in microscopic p-terphenyl crystals are identified with the technique of fluorescence excitation spectroscopy. By use of the architecture of a scanning-probe microscope at T=1.4 K, a single molecule is scanned through an excitation laser beam while the fluorescence signal is recorded. In this manner we have mapped the intensity distribution in a one-dimensional optical standing wave, demonstrating the potential of a single molecule as a nanometric probe. We discuss future experiments aimed at combining the high spatial and spectral sensitivity of a single molecule.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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