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April 2nd, 2005
A 'ruler' for measuring distances of just 1–3 nm has been developed by researchers at Harvard University. They show that the fluorescent light emission from an organic dye molecule can be switched off by red light, but that the close proximity of another dye switches the fluorescence back on. The effect depends very sensitively on the distance between them.
... this new distance gauge should prove useful not only for studying finer details of molecular motions but also as a convenient sensor for quantifying any small movements in the nanoworld.
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