Label-free imaging of rapidly moving, sub-diffraction sized structures has important applications in both biology and material science, as it removes the limitations associated with fluorescence tagging. However, unlabeled nanoscale particles in suspension are difficult to image due to their transparency and fast Brownian motion. Here we describe a novel interferometric imaging technique referred to as Magnified Image Spatial Spectrum (MISS) microscopy, which overcomes these challenges. The MISS microscope provides quantitative phase information and enables dynamic light scattering investigations with an overall optical path length sensitivity of 0.95 nm at 833 frames per second acquisition rate. Using spatiotemporal filtering, we find that the sensitivity can be further pushed down to 10−3-10−2 nm. We demonstrate the instrument’s capability through colloidal nanoparticle sizing down to 20 nm diameter and measurements of live neuron membrane dynamics. MISS microscopy is implemented as an upgrade module to an existing microscope, which converts it into a powerful light scattering instrument. Thus, we anticipate that MISS will be adopted broadly for both material and life sciences applications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics