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Keywords:

  • Single molecule;
  • metal nanostructures;
  • plasmon;
  • fluorescence.

Abstract

In recent years there has been a growing interest in the interactions of fluorophores with metallic nanostructures or nanoparticles. The spectra properties of fluorophores can be dramatically modified by near-field interactions with the electron clouds present in metals. Near-field interactions are those occurring within a wavelength distance of an excited fluorophore. These interactions modify the emission in ways not seen in ensemble fluorescence experiments. In this review we provide an insightful description of the photophysics of metal plasmons and near-field interactions. Additionally, we summarize recent works on single-molecule studies on metal-fluorophore interactions and suggest how these effects will result in new classes of experimental procedures, novel probes, bioassays and devices.