Bioinspired optofluidic FRET lasers via DNA scaffolds

Yuze Sun, Siyka I. Shopova, Chung Shieh Wu, Stephen Arnold, Xudong Fan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Optofluidic dye lasers hold great promise for adaptive photonic devices, compact and wavelength-tunable light sources, and micro total analysis systems. To date, however, nearly all those lasers are directly excited by tuning the pump laser into the gain medium absorption band. Here we demonstrate bioinspired optofluidic dye lasers excited by FRET, in which the donor-acceptor distance, ratio, and spatial configuration can be precisely controlled by DNA scaffolds. The characteristics of the FRET lasers such as spectrum, threshold, and energy conversion efficiency are reported. Through DNA scaffolds, nearly 100% energy transfer can be maintained regardless of the donor and acceptor concentration. As a result, efficient FRET lasing is achieved at an unusually low acceptor concentration of micromolar, over 1,000 times lower than that in conventional optofluidic dye lasers. The lasing threshold is on the order of μJ?mm 2. Various DNA scaffold FRET lasers are demonstrated to illustrate vast possibilities in optofluidic laser designs. Our work opens a door to many researches and applications such as intracavity bio/chemical sensing, biocontrolled photonic devices, and biophysics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16039-16042
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number37
StatePublished - Sep 14 2010


  • Fluorescence resonance energy transfer
  • Optofluidics
  • Ring resonators

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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