Abstract

The commercial availability of stand-alone setups for the determination of absolute photoluminescence quantum yields (&phi;<sub>f</sub>) in conjunction with the increasing use of integrating sphere accessories for spectrofluorometers is expected to have a considerable influence not only on the characterization of chromophore systems for use in optical and opto-electronic devices, but also on the determination of this key parameter for (bio)analytically relevant dyes and functional luminophores. Despite the huge potential of systems measuring absolute &phi;<sub>f</sub> values and the renewed interest in dependable data, evaluated protocols for even the most elementary case, the determination of the fluorescence quantum yield of transparent dilute solutions of small organic dyes with integrating sphere methods, are still missing. This encouraged us to evaluate the performance and sources of uncertainty of a simple commercial integrating sphere setup with dilute solutions of two of the best characterized fluorescence quantum yield standards, quinine sulfate dihydrate and rhodamine 101, strongly differing in spectral overlap between absorption and emission. Special attention is dedicated to illustrate common pitfalls of this approach, thereby deriving simple procedures to minimize measurement uncertainties and improve the comparability of data for the broad community of users of fluorescence techniques.

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