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Nanoaperture-Enhanced Signal-to-Noise Ratio in Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy


The fluorescence enhancement found in gold nanoapertures is demonstrated to increase the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) in fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS). Starting from a general discussion on noise in FCS experiments, we show that fluorescence enhancement leads to a dramatic increase in the SNR. This prediction is confirmed by experiments where we report an experimental gain in SNR of about 1 order of magnitude, corresponding to a 100-fold reduction of the experiment duration. This technique is then applied to monitor the kinetics of a fast enzymatic cleavage reaction. This set of experiments evidence the feasibility of FCS analysis with fast integration times of about 1 s, opening the way to the monitoring of a variety of biochemical reactions at reduced time scales.