Dynamics of Solvent and Spectral Relaxation

  • Joseph R. Lakowicz


In the preceding chapter we described the effects of solvents on emission spectra and considered how the solvent-dependent data could be interpreted in terms of the local environment. We assumed that the solvent was in equilibrium around the excited-state dipole prior to emission. Equilibrium around the excited-state dipole is reached in fluid solution because the solvent relaxation times are typically less than 100 ps whereas the decay times are usually 1 ns or longer. However, equilibrium around the excited-state dipole is not reached in more viscous solvents and may not be reached for probes bound to proteins or membranes. In these cases emission occurs during solvent relaxation, and the emission spectrum represents an average of the partially relaxed emission. Under these conditions, the emission spectra display time-dependent changes. These effects are not observed in the steady-state emission spectra but can be seen in the time-resolved data or the intensity decays measured at various emission wavelengths.


Emission Spectrum Spectral Shift Impulse Response Function Intensity Decay Dielectric Relaxation Time 


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph R. Lakowicz
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Maryland School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA

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