Lasing from fluorescent protein crystals

H.J. Oh, M.C. Gather, J.-J. Song, S.H. Yun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated fluorescent protein crystals for potential photonic applications, for the first time to our knowledge. Rod-shaped crystals of enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) were synthesized, with diameters of 0.5-2 μm and lengths of 100-200 μm. The crystals exhibit minimal light scattering due to their ordered structure and generate substantially higher fluorescence intensity than EGFP or dye molecules in solutions. The magnitude of concentration quenching in EGFP crystals was measured to be about 7-10 dB. Upon optical pumping at 485 nm, individual EGFP crystals located between dichroic mirrors generated laser emission with a single-mode spectral line at 513 nm. Our results demonstrate the potential of protein crystals as novel optical elements for self-assembled, micro- or nano-lasers and amplifiers in aqueous environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31411-31416
Number of pages6
JournalOptics Express
Issue number25
Early online date11 Dec 2014
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2014


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