AIP Digital Archive
Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
Significant improvements in the performances of the Super-ACO storage ring free-electron laser (FEL) at 800 MeV have been obtained recently: enhancement of the output power in the ultraviolet, laser duration of 10 h for the same injection of positrons, long-term stability with a micropulse of 60 ps FWHM. A first series of experiments using this FEL has then been successfully performed. Taking advantage of the time structure, the polarization and the high power of the source at 350 nm, the polarized fluorescence decays of the reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide coenzyme (NADH) were studied in aqueous solution, using the single-photon counting (SPC) technique. The experimental setup is described, including the Super-ACO FEL characteristics and diagnostics. The FEL working point has been first optimized by monitoring the SPC apparatus function. A complete fluorescence experiment required about 30 min of data acquisition, during which the best integrated instrumental response had a FWHM of 110 ps. Measurements performed in such a way lead to the unambiguous separation of two close lifetime components of 0.28 and 0.62 ns in the fluorescence decays of NADH at 20 °C, in good agreement with previous works. The thermodynamic parameters obtained from temperature studies show that the NADH fluorescence heterogeneity is consistent with the ground-state folding equilibrium of the coenzyme, as characterized by many other spectroscopic techniques. From the fluorescence anisotropy decays, an apparent hydrodynamic radius of about 6 A(ring) is determined, while on the other hand, a large initial depolarization of the fluorescence indicates a fast independent motion of the nicotinamide ring. The quality of the collected data fully meets the requirements for the study of more complex systems such as fluorescent compounds bound to proteins or membranes. Thus, the feasibility of use of a storage ring UV FEL for this type of time-resolved experiments on the subnanosecond time scale has been demonstrated.
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