Molecular Resolution in Optical Nanoscopy by Breaking the Information Barrier
Super-resolution microscopy methods such as STED and PALM/STORM have revolutionized far-field optical fluorescence microscopy by going beyond the diffraction limit of light and offering potentially unlimited resolution. In practice, however, the resolution of an image is limited by the finite photon budget of fluorescent probes, while their finite emission rate imposes a spatio-temporal trade-off in tracking applications.
By synergistically combining the strengths of both super-resolution families, the recently introduced MINFLUX concept tackles these limitations by rendering each emitted photon more informative. MINFLUX localizes an emitter by repeatedly probing its location with an excitation beam that features a zero of intensity. The emitter position is obtained from the knowledge of the beam shape and the number of photons collected at each location of the beam. When compared to conventional centroid-localization techniques, it is possible to reach a given precision by using fewer photons, or conversely, have an improved precision for the same photon budget.
In this seminar, I will present the foundations of super resolution optical microscopy and build up towards how MINFLUX works. I will discuss published results in nanoscopy (~1 nm resolution) and single molecule tracking and show recent extensions of the technique for multicolor three-dimensional operation within large fields of view for fixed and living cells.