Fluorescence Experiments

Bibliography of Fluorescence Lab Activities from the Journal of Chemical Education through 2013

If you do a search of JCE on “fluorescence”, you will get more than 100 citations. We have chosen labs and demonstrations that are geared toward someone who wants to introduce students to fluorescence as a concept, as an analytical tool, or as an introduction to biochem and PChem methods. No high vacuum, not pulsed lasers, no special quartz tubes needed. These are experiments that can use the 360 nm or longer wavelength LEDs on the MicroLab FS522 FASTSpec unit. A couple require an external Diode array spectrometer, such as the MicroLab/Avantes Model 211C.

The MicroLab software makes it easy to understand fluorescence, as well as to do quantitative and qualitative analysis. As a stand alone fluorometer, you can see how the emission spectrum changes as you switch LEDs, prepare calibration curves, add quenchers, and so on. The sample is easy to stir so results can be gotten quickly.

With the Model 211C DAD spectrometer, you can explore quantum yield and other effects on high resolution emission spectra.

This first one is an early classic:
Two fluorescence experiments
Salvatore F. Russo
J. Chem. Educ., 1969, 46 (6), p 374
One experiment is the determination of quantum yield using quinine sulfate and fluorescein. The second is a fluorescence titration of a-chymotrypsin with 2-p-toluidinylnaphthalene-6-sulfonate  (TNS) in buffered aqueous solution, illustrating protein binding.  The first experiment requires a DAD spectrometer such as the MicroLab/Avantes Model 211C [link]. The second is a stand alone experiment that can be done easily with the MicroLab FS522 with FASTSpec.

Proflavine–DNA Binding Using a Handheld Fluorescence Spectrometer: A Laboratory for Introductory Chemistry
Swapan S. Jain, Christopher N. LaFratta, Andres Medina, and Ian Pelse
J. Chem. Educ., Articles ASAP (As Soon As Publishable)
Publication Date (Web): August 9, 2013 (Laboratory Experiment)
This article uses a competitor’s instrument, but it would be even simpler with the MicroLab FS522 with FASTSpec in a stand alone mode.

Quantitative Determination of DNA–Ligand Binding Using Fluorescence Spectroscopy
Eamonn F. Healy
J. Chem. Educ., 2007, 84 (8), p 1304
360 nm excitation makes this a nice stand alone biochem experiment.

An Iodine Fluorescence Quenching Clock Reaction
Richard B. Weinberg , Mark Muyskens
J. Chem. Educ., 2007, 84 (5), p 797
The 360 nm LED in the MicroLab FS522 would be able to serve as the excitation source. A stirred vial in the sample compartment would make this a dramatic experiment illustrating redox kinetics as well as fluorescence.

Are Fluorescence Quantum Yields So Tricky to Measure? A Demonstration Using Familiar Stationery Products
Suzanne Fery-Forgues and Dominique Lavabre
J. Chem. Educ., 1999, 76 (9), p 1260
Good article with over 50 citations.

Energy transfer between dyes: A study using fluorescence quenching and Forster theory
David M. Goodall and David R. Roberts
J. Chem. Educ., 1985, 62 (8), p 711
A colorful illustration of fluorescein emission changing with added coumarin.

Fluorescence quenching of acridinium ions in sodium dodecyl sulfate micelles
El-Zeiny M. Ebeid
J. Chem. Educ., 1985, 62 (2), p 165
A stand alone experiment easy todo with the FS522 with FASTSpec that illustrates the properties of micelles and two different quenching mechanisms.