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Focal spots of size lambda/23 open up far-field florescence microscopy at 33 nm axial resolution

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Dyba,  M.
Department of NanoBiophotonics, MPI for biophysical chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Hell,  S. W.
Department of NanoBiophotonics, MPI for biophysical chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Dyba, M., & Hell, S. W. (2002). Focal spots of size lambda/23 open up far-field florescence microscopy at 33 nm axial resolution. Physical Review Letters, 88(16), 163901-1-163901-4. Retrieved from http://prl.aps.org/pdf/PRL/v88/i16/e163901.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0012-F3FA-F
Abstract
We report spots of excited molecules of 33 nm width created with focused light of lambda = 760 nm wavelength and conventional optics along the optic axis. This is accomplished by exciting the molecules with a femtosecond pulse and subsequent depletion of their excited state with red-shifted, picosecond-pulsed, counterpropagating, coherent light fields. The lambda/23 ratio constitutes what is to our knowledge the sharpest spatial definition attained with freely propagating electromagnetic radiation. The sub-diffraction spots enable for the first time far-field fluorescence microscopy with resolution at the tens of nanometer scale, as demonstrated in images of membranes of bacillus megaterium