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Chemistry International

The News Magazine of IUPAC

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Volume 31, Issue 6


Reference Methods, Standards, and Applications of Photoluminescence

Published Online: 2009-09-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ci.2009.31.6.23b

Reference Methods, Standards, and Applications of Photoluminescence

More than 20 years ago, David Eaton undertook the task of collecting information on fluorescence methods and materials as a task of the IUPAC Commission on Photochemistry. Two relevant documents evolved from this work: “Reference Materials for Fluorescence Measurement,” [Pure and Applied Chemistry, 1988, 60(7), 1107–1114]; and “Recommended Methods for Fluorescence Decay Analysis,” [Pure and Applied Chemistry, 1990, 62(8), 1631–1648]. Since Eaton’s documents were written, new reference materials have been published and the subject has evolved rapidly with the incorporation of new areas and methods of fluorescence that were not understood or poorly developed at that time. A few examples are single molecule fluorescence, ultrafast fluorescence detection, and fluorescence microscopy. Many of these subcategories are of utmost relevance in materials science and in biology. In general, interest has shifted to organized, (micro) heterogeneous systems.

A nearly completed IUPAC project, begun almost six years ago, has been systematically updating all IUPAC documents on fluorescence, including advances registered during the last 20 years. Nearly 15 documents will be issued and published as an outcome of this project, which gives particular attention to newly developed reference materials and methods.

The scope of the work has been broadened for this project to include luminescence from molecular emitters in their triplet state or states with mixed spin multiplicity, quantum dots, and more. Thus, the term “fluorescence” appearing in the earlier documents has been replaced by the far more comprehensive term “photoluminescence.” “Reference methods will include recommendations for the calibration of luminescence measuring systems; the correction of emission, excitation, action, and polarization spectra; the determination of quantum yields in different spectral ranges; and the determination of lifetimes or decay kinetics in the various achievable time scales. Whenever possible, extension to nondilute, unclear, or complex systems of applied interest will be performed.

At present, 13 documents have been drafted, all of which will be issued under the signature of one or more authors. They carry the primary responsibility for the written material. However, all documents have profited from the criticism and the contribution from all Task Group members, whether they participated or not in active writing. Style uniformity and fulfillment of IUPAC rules will be pursued in a final step, in which internal and external consistences will be checked. Final documents will be submitted successively.

The first titles in the series are as follows:

  • Fluorescence Standards: Classification, Terminology and Recommendations on their Selection, Use and Production, by U. Resch-Genger, P.C. DeRose

  • Characterization of Photoluminescence Measuring Systems, by U. Resch-Genger, P. C. DeRose

  • Determination of the Photoluminescence Quantum Yield of Dilute Dye Solutions, by K. Rurack, U. Resch-Genger

  • Standards for Photoluminescence Quantum Yield Measurements in Solution, by A.M. Brouwer

  • Fluorescence Anisotropy Measurements in Solution: Methods and Reference Materials, by M. Ameloot, M. vandeVen, A. U. Acuña , B. Valeur

  • Time-Resolved Fluorescence Methods, by H. Lemmetyinen, N. Tkachenko, B. Valeur, N. Boens, M. Ameloot, N. Ernsting, T. Gustavsson, J.-I. Hotta

Preview drafts are available on request as opinions, criticisms and comments from the photochemical community are kindly requested.

The project is divided into different sections:

  • Steady-State Luminescence Measurements

  • Time-Resolved Spectroscopy and Decay Analysis

  • Single Molecules and Microfluorimetry

  • Luminescence Measurement in Microheterogeneous, Heterogeneous, Highly Absorbing and Complex Systems

Documents 1 to 4 belong to Section I, as they deal mainly with steady-state measurements, document 6 to Section II, and document 5 pertains to both sections, as it involves both steady-state and time-resolved measurements. The remaining documents to be issued correspond to Sections III and IIV.

For more information and comments, contact Task Group Chairs Albert M. Brouwer <fred@science.uva.nl> or Enrique San Román <esr@qi.fcen.uba.ar>.


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About the article

Published Online: 2009-09-01

Published in Print: 2009-11-01

Citation Information: Chemistry International -- Newsmagazine for IUPAC, Volume 31, Issue 6, Pages 23–24, ISSN (Online) 1365-2192, ISSN (Print) 0193-6484, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ci.2009.31.6.23b.

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