Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) is a widespread
technique to study molecular interactions in biology and nanotechnology;
it offers both spatial and temporal resolution on a relevant scale. We
are interested in using fluorescence to study nano-scale assemblies
built using bio-molecules such as DNA or lipids.
Fluorescent molecules in nanometer scale structures and devices can
be used as reporter functions giving information about such things as
and reaction rates, structural flexibility and interactions in
supramolecular assemblies. Fluorescence can also be incorporated into
nanoscale devices as a function of the device itself. In light
harvesting complexes in bacterial photosynthesis, multistep energy
transfer is utilized to gather energy from and to direct it to the
reaction centre. Multistep FRET can be adopted as a communication
strategy in nanotechnology bridging the gap between the molecular and
lithographic length scales.
Furthermore, it is of great interest to use light as way to control
reactions in molecular devices. Light can be easily switched on and off
and can affect molecules without the need to change composition of the
sample. These advantages make light and fluorescence attractive tools to
manipulate and control devices operating in the nanometer regime.