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ATR/FT-IR Difference Spectroscopy of Biological Matter with Microsecond Time Resolution

Volume 50, Number 5 (May 1996) Page 588-596

Heberle, Joachim; Zscherp, Christian


Attenuated total reflection (ATR) spectroscopy allows precise control of external parameters vital for proper functioning of biological matter. For the first time in biospectroscopy, ATR difference spectroscopy has been combined with the step-scan technique. The current setup integrates a broad frequency range (800-25,000 cm-1) with high temporal resolution (5 μS). Vibrations are detected that arise from single amino acids (<10-3 a absorbance units) of the chromoprotein bacteriorhodopsin. Time-resolved ATR/FT-IR difference spectra are compared with conventional transmission spectra. The high mirror stability enables time-resolved FT-vis spectroscopy of the same sample with the same instrument. Potential applications even to non-light-absorbing biomaterial are discussed.