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Journal Article

Multivariate Analysis of Single-Molecule Spectra: Surpassing Spectral Diffusion


Michel,  Hartmut
Department of Molecular Membrane Biology, Max Planck Institute of Biophysics, Max Planck Society;

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Hofmann, C., Michel, H., van Heel, M., & Köhler, J. (2005). Multivariate Analysis of Single-Molecule Spectra: Surpassing Spectral Diffusion. Physical Review Letters, 94(19): 195501. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.94.195501.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0024-DA44-2
The full exploitation of single-molecule spectroscopy in disordered systems is often hampered by spectral diffusion processes of the optical transitions due to structural fluctuations in the local environment of the probe molecule which leads to temporal averaging of the signal. Multivariate statistical pattern recognition techniques, originally developed for single-molecule cryoelectron microscopy, allow us to retrieve detailed information from optical single-molecule spectra. As an example, we present the phonon side band of the B800 excitations of the light-harvesting 2 (LH2) complex from Rhodospirillum molischianum, revealing the electron-phonon coupling strength for these transitions. The measured Debye-Waller factors, ranging from 0.4 to 0.9, fall in the regime of weak electron-phonon coupling.