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Combined AFM and Fluorescence Measurements for the Investigation of Nanophotonic Effects on Single Fluorophores

Description

In this project, we introduce a type of microscopy which produces correlated topography and fluorescence lifetime images with nanometer resolution. This technique combines atomic force microscopy (AFM) and time resolved confocal fluorescence microscopy to conduct biological and materials research. This

In this project, we introduce a type of microscopy which produces correlated topography and fluorescence lifetime images with nanometer resolution. This technique combines atomic force microscopy (AFM) and time resolved confocal fluorescence microscopy to conduct biological and materials research. This method is used to investigate nanophotonic effects on single fluorophores, including quantum dots and fluorescent molecules. For single fluorescent molecules, we investigate the effects of quenching of fluorescence with the probe of an atomic force microscope which is combined and synchronized with a confocal fluorescence lifetime microscope. For quantum dots, we investigate the correlation between the topographic and fluorescence data. With this method of combining an atomic force microscope with a confocal microscope, it is anticipated that there will be applications in nanomaterial characterization and life sciences; such as the determination of the structure of small molecular systems on surfaces, molecular interactions, as well as the structure and properties of fluorescent nanomaterials.

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Date Created
2013-05

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Tip induced quenching imaging: topographic and optical resolutions in the nanometer range by

Description

In this work, atomic force microscopy (AFM) and time resolved confocal fluorescence microscopy are combined to create a microscopy technique which allows for nanometer resolution topographic and fluorescence imaging. This technique can be applied to any sample which can be

In this work, atomic force microscopy (AFM) and time resolved confocal fluorescence microscopy are combined to create a microscopy technique which allows for nanometer resolution topographic and fluorescence imaging. This technique can be applied to any sample which can be immobilized on a surface and which can be observed by fluorescence microscopy. Biological problems include small molecular systems, such as membrane receptor clusters, where very high optical resolutions need to be achieved. In materials science, fluorescent nanoparticles or other optically active nanostructures can be investigated using this technique. In the past decades, multiple techniques have been developed that yield high resolution optical images. Multiple far-field techniques have overcome the diffraction limit and allow fluorescence imaging with resolutions of few tens of nanometers. On the other hand, near-field microscopy, that makes use of optically active structures much smaller than the diffraction limit can give resolutions around ten nanometers with the possibility to collect topographic information from flat samples. The technique presented in this work reaches resolutions in the nanometer range along with topographic information from the sample. DNA origami with fluorophores attached to it was used to show this high resolution. The fluorophores with 21 nm distance could be resolved and their position on the origami determined within 10 nm. Not only did this work reach a new record in optical resolution in near-field microscopy (5 nm resolution in air and in water), it also gave an insight into the physics that happens between a fluorescent molecule and a dielectric nanostructure, which the AFM tip is. The experiments with silicon tips made a detailed comparison with models possible on the single molecule level, highly resolved in space and time. On the other hand, using silicon nitride and quartz as tip materials showed that effects beyond the established models play a role when the molecule is directly under the AFM tip, where quenching of up to 5 times more efficient than predicted by the model was found.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2012