The emission of light by a substance that has absorbed any kind of electromagnetic radiation is known as fluorescence. There is a range of analysis techniques that utilize the fluorescence phenomenon.
Widely used in the biological and medical fields, fluorescence microscopy detects signals that are 1 million times weaker than the light that illuminates the sample. To be successful, the technique relies on the detection of fluorescence signals that are 1000 times weaker than scattered light, which is 1000 times weaker than the light that illuminates the sample. This is not simple to achieve and obtaining the correct result relies on the use of high-performance optical filters and dichroic beamsplitters in fluorescence microscopes.
Flow cytometry has a large range of applications, from the diagnosis of health disorders to basic research and clinical trials. Similar to fluorescence microscopy, flow cytometry requires powerful optical filters to obtain the desired results. This is due to the fact that emission and absorption spectra of most fluorescent dyes are located closely together and often overlap. So, emission and excitation filters are required to have very steep edges in order to effectively separate absorption and emission peaks. To make the weak fluorescence signal detectable in the strong illumination light, high out-of-band rejection is required.
Fluorescence spectroscopy is a technique employed by chemists who want to investigate the structure of unknown compounds. The technique involves the submission of a sample to radiation or light, and the interaction is examined. An important component in a spectrometer is a wavelength selector, and interference filters are a common type of wavelength selector.
Compared to another type of wavelength selector, the monochromator, interference filters are much smaller and lighter. They also provide technical benefits, including increased potential grasp of energy. Interference filters are generally composed of several hundred optical layers, deposited on a transparent glass or quartz substrate. The specific performance properties of the filter are determined by the thickness and sequence of the optical layers.
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