Cal Poly Pomona

Physics Seminar

Friday, January 16, 2009

Optics Beyond the Diffraction Limit, or, Don't Believe Everything You Hear in Physics 122!

Alex Small

Department of Physics, Cal Poly Pomona

Recent work has shown that the diffraction limit to resolution, once regarded as fundamental, can be overcome by a variety of techniques. I will discuss ways that diffraction can be overcome in fluorescence microscopy, giving images of cells with resolution of 40 nanometers or better. The techniques that I will discuss include the use of blinking molecules (STOchastic Reconstruction Microscopy, or STORM) and the use of stimulated emission (STimulated Emission Depletion, or STED). I have recently worked out the theoretical limits to speed and resolution in STORM and related techniques. Interestingly, my work shows that single-molecule resolution in high-speed STORM requires image processing algorithms that perform above a threshold specified in the theory. I will also show simulations of photochemistry controlled with nanometer resolution via a twist on STED, and use the simulation results to argue that nanolithography can be achieved with visible light.

Refreshments at 4:00 PM. Seminar begins at 4:10 PM.
Building 8, Room 241
For further information, please call (909) 869-4014

Last modified on January 8, 2009
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