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Quantum enhanced superresolution microscopy

May 9, 2019 at 11 AM

Dan Oron, Department of Physics of Complex Systems, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel

Lieu(x) :        Amphithéatre Becquerel, Ecole Polytechnique

Contact :     Emmanuel Beaurepaire
                     emmanuel.beaurepaire at polytechnique.edu

Far-field optical microscopy beyond the Abbe diffraction limit, making use of nonlinear excitation (e.g. STED), or temporal fluctuations in fluorescence (PALM, STORM, SOFI) is already a reality. In contrast, overcoming the diffraction limit using non-classical properties of light is very difficult to achieve due to the requirement of nonlinearity and the fragility of quantum states of light. Here, we experimentally demonstrate superresolution microscopy based on quantum properties of light naturally emitted by fluorophores used as markers in fluorescence microscopy. Our approach is based on photon antibunching, the tendency of fluorophores to emit photons one by one rather than in bursts. Although a distinctively quantum phenomenon, antibunching is readily observed in most common fluorophores even at room temperature.

We demonstrate the utilization of antibunching either directly for enhancing spatial resolution or for augmenting the capabilities of other commonly used superresolution techniques, such as localization-based superresolution imaging or image-scanning confocal microscopy. As we show, implementing this relies heavily on the utilization of new types of hardware for imaging. Finally, new modalities for harnessing quantum photon statistics for super-resolved imaging will be discussed.