Population analysis to increase the robustness of molecular computational identification and its extension into the near-infrared for substantial numbers of small objects†
The first population analysis is presented for submillimetric polymer beads which are tagged with five multi-valued logic gates, YES, 2YES + PASS 1, YES + PASS 1, YES + 2PASS 1 and PASS 1 with H+ input, 700 nm near-infrared fluorescence output and 615 nm red excitation light as the power supply. The gates carry an azaBODIPY fluorophore and an aliphatic tertiary amine as the H+ receptor where necessary. Each logic tag has essentially identical emission characteristics except for the H+-induced fluorescence enhancement factors which consistently map onto the theoretical predictions, after allowing for bead-to-bead statistical variability for the first time. These enhancement factors are signatures which identify a given bead type within a mixed population when examined with a ‘wash and watch’ protocol under a fluorescence microscope. This delineates the scope of molecular computational identification (MCID) for encoding objects which are too small for radiofrequency identification (RFID) tagging.