A tandem is composed of two covalently attached fluorescent molecules (one of which serves as the donor and the other as acceptor) that behaves as a unique fluorophore with the excitation properties of the donor and the emission properties of the acceptor. This is possible through the phenomenon of Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET), also known as fluorescence resonance energy transfer. This allows one fluorophore to pass its excitation energy to a neighboring fluorophore, which then emits the photon of light. This transfer of energy is dependent on the proximity and orientation of the donor and acceptor molecules.

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