Multiphoton Cascade Absorption in Single Molecule Fluorescence Saturation Spectroscopy
Saturation spectroscopy is a relevant method to investigate photophysical parameters of single fluorescent molecules. Nevertheless, the impact of a gradual increase, over a broad range, of the laser excitation on the intramolecular dynamics is not completely understood, particularly concerning their fluorescence emission (the so-called brightness). Thus, we propose a comprehensive theoretical and experimental study to interpret the unexpected evolution of the brightness with the laser power taking into account the cascade absorption of two and three photons. Furthermore, we highlight the key role played by the confocal observation volume in fluorescence saturation spectroscopy of single molecules in solution.