Nonlinear Focal Modulation Microscopy

Guangyuan Zhao, Cheng Zheng, Cuifang Kuang, Renjie Zhou, Mohammad M. Kabir, Kimani C. Toussaint, Wensheng Wang, Liang Xu, Haifeng Li, Peng Xiu, Xu Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We demonstrate nonlinear focal modulation microscopy (NFOMM) to achieve superresolution imaging. Traditional approaches to superresolution that utilize point scanning often rely on spatially reducing the size of the emission pattern by directly narrowing (e.g., through minimizing the detection pinhole in Airyscan, Zeiss) or indirectly peeling its outer profiles [e.g., through depleting the outer emission region in stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy]. We show that an alternative conceptualization that focuses on maximizing the optical system's frequency shifting ability offers advantages in further improving resolution while reducing system complexity. In NFOMM, a spatial light modulator and a suitably intense laser illumination are used to implement nonlinear focal-field modulation to achieve a transverse spatial resolution of ∼60 nm (∼λ/10). We show that NFOMM is comparable with STED microscopy and suitable for fundamental biology studies, as evidenced in imaging nuclear pore complexes, tubulin and vimentin in Vero cells. Since NFOMM is readily implemented as an add-on module to a laser-scanning microscope, we anticipate wide utility of this new imaging technique.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number193901
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number19
StatePublished - May 9 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Nonlinear Focal Modulation Microscopy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this