Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Microscope maps surfaces at resolutions below 100 nanometers: Microparticles get the whole picture

Date:
June 19, 2014
Source:
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)
Summary:
Microscopes are conventionally used to image tiny features. However, their resolution is inherently limited by the wavelength of light. This limitation means that they can resolve only structures larger than a few hundred nanometers. Now scientists have demonstrated an alternative optical approach capable of mapping surfaces at resolutions below 100 nanometers.

Microscopes are conventionally used to image tiny features. However, their resolution is inherently limited by the wavelength of light. This limitation means that they can resolve only structures larger than a few hundred nanometers. Now, Leonid Krivitsky and Boris Luk'yanchuk at the A*STAR Data Storage Institute in Singapore and co-workers have demonstrated an alternative optical approach capable of mapping surfaces at resolutions below 100 nanometers.

Diffraction is the tendency for all waves, including light, to spread out when they pass near an object or through a gap. This effect means that optical imaging systems cannot resolve objects smaller than roughly half the wavelength of the illuminating light. Thus, for red light with a wavelength of about 600 nm, the resolution will be approximately 300 nanometers.

Luk'yanchuk and his colleagues previously showed that a micrometer-scale transparent bead placed on a surface can circumvent this so-called diffraction limit. They demonstrated that light passing through the bead, when collected by a conventional microscope, can create an image of the surface beneath it with a resolution of 50 nanometers. However, generating a complete two-dimensional map requires scanning the bead across the surface -- not easy to perform in a controlled way when the sphere is only 6 micrometers across. "We have now improved this superresolution technique by developing a method to controllably move the imaging microspheres," says Krivitsky.

Krivitsky and his team accomplished such spatial scanning using a tiny pipette with a tip just 1 or 2 micrometers wide. Computer simulations confirmed that the presence of the pipette would not adversely affect the superresolution capability of the microspheres. To fasten the pipette to the bead, they sucked the air out from within its cavity.

The team then connected the other end of the pipette to a mechanical stage, which could move in steps as small as 20 nanometers. Importantly, the vacuum inside the pipette created a bond tight enough to ensure that the bead did not disconnect as it was dragged across a surface. The researchers demonstrated the effectiveness of their system by successfully imaging trial samples with features as small as 75 nanometers.

While other techniques, such as near-field scanning microscopy, can perform sub-diffraction-limit imaging, they require very expensive systems. "The real advantages of our technique are its simplicity and its price," says Krivitsky. "The idea could be applied to a variety of superresolution applications such as sample inspection, microfabrication and bioimaging."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Leonid A. Krivitsky, Jia Jun Wang, Zengbo Wang, Boris Luk'yanchuk. Locomotion of microspheres for super-resolution imaging. Scientific Reports, 2013; 3 DOI: 10.1038/srep03501

Cite This Page:

The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). "Microscope maps surfaces at resolutions below 100 nanometers: Microparticles get the whole picture." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140619145930.htm>.
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). (2014, June 19). Microscope maps surfaces at resolutions below 100 nanometers: Microparticles get the whole picture. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140619145930.htm
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). "Microscope maps surfaces at resolutions below 100 nanometers: Microparticles get the whole picture." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140619145930.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Tesla, Panasonic Ink Deal To Make Huge Battery 'Gigafactory'

Tesla, Panasonic Ink Deal To Make Huge Battery 'Gigafactory'

Newsy (July 31, 2014) The deal will help build a massive battery factory that Tesla says will produce 500,000 lithium batteries by 2020. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
7 Ways to Use Toothpaste: Howdini Hacks

7 Ways to Use Toothpaste: Howdini Hacks

Howdini (July 30, 2014) Fresh breath and clean teeth are great, but have you ever thought, "my toothpaste could be doing more". Well, it can! Lots of things! Howdini has 7 new uses for this household staple. Video provided by Howdini
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smoked: 2015 Ducati Diavel Vs 2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray Drag Race

Smoked: 2015 Ducati Diavel Vs 2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray Drag Race

Cycle World (July 30, 2014) The Bonnier Motorcycle Group presents Smoked; a three part video series. In this episode the 2015 Ducati Diavel takes on the 2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray Video provided by Cycle World
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins