Potsdam University Potsdam Quantum Optics Group

Universität Potsdam
Institut für Physik
Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 24/25
14476 Potsdam-Golm
Potsdam Quantum Optics Group: Home

Potsdam Quantum Optics Group: Teaching

Potsdam Quantum Optics Group: Research

Potsdam Quantum Optics Group: How to find us


J. R. Zurita-Sánchez and C. Henkel
Acoustic waves from mechanical impulses due to fluorescence resonant energy (Förster) transfer
Europhys. Lett. 97 (2012) 43002


    We present a momentum transfer mechanism mediated by electromagnetic fields that originates in a system of two nearby molecules: one excited (donor D* and the other in ground state (acceptor A). An intermolecular force related to fluorescence resonant energy or Förster transfer (FRET) arises in the unstable D*A molecular system, which differs from the equilibrium van der Waals interaction. Due to the its finite lifetime, a mechanical impulse is imparted on the system. We analyze the FRET impulse when the molecules are embedded in free space and find that its magnitude can be much greater that the single recoil photon momentum, getting comparable with the thermal momentum (Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution) at room temperature. In addition, we propose that this FRET impulse can be exploited in the generation of acoustic waves inside a film containing layers of donor and acceptor molecules, when a pico-second laser pulse excites the donors. This acoustic transient is distinguishable from that produced by thermal stress due to laser absorption. The effect can be seen as exciting a vibrating system like a string or organ pipe with light; it may be used as an opto-mechanical transducer.

[ reprint order ] [ DOI ]

file generated: 3 Mar 2014

printer-friendly version