Interferometric scattering microscopy is increasingly employed in biomedical research owing to its extraordinary capability of detecting nano-objects individually through their intrinsic elastic scattering. To significantly improve the signal-to-noise ratio without increasing illumination intensity, we developed photonic resonator interferometric scattering microscopy (PRISM) in which a dielectric photonic crystal (PC) resonator is utilized as the sample substrate. The scattered light is amplified by the PC through resonant near-field enhancement, which then interferes with the <1% transmitted light to create a large intensity contrast. Importantly, the scattered photons assume the wavevectors delineated by PC’s photonic band structure, resulting in the ability to utilize a non-immersion objective without significant loss at illumination density as low as 25 W cm−2. An analytical model of the scattering process is discussed, followed by demonstration of virus and protein detection. The results showcase the promise of nanophotonic surfaces in the development of resonance-enhanced interferometric microscopies.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1744
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 19 2021


  • Interference microscopy
  • Photonic crystals
  • Nanostructures
  • Nanoparticles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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