Author's School

School of Engineering and Applied Science

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-27-2018

Abstract

Fluorescence photons emitted by single molecules contain rich information regarding their rotational motions, but adapting single-molecule localization microscopy (SMLM) to measure their orientations and rotational mobilities with high precision remains a challenge. Inspired by dipole radiation patterns, we design and implement a Tri-spot point spread function (PSF) that simultaneously measures the three-dimensional orientation and the rotational mobility of dipole-like emitters across a large field of view. We show that the orientation measurements done using the Tri-spot PSF are sufficiently accurate to correct the anisotropy-based localization bias, from 30 nm to 7 nm, in SMLM. We further characterize the emission anisotropy of fluorescent beads, revealing that both 20-nm and 100-nm diameter beads emit light significantly differently from isotropic point sources. Exciting 100-nm beads with linearly polarized light, we observe significant depolarization of the emitted fluorescence using the Tri-spot PSF that is difficult to detect using other methods. Finally, we demonstrate that the Tri-spot PSF detects rotational dynamics of single molecules within a polymer thin film that are not observable by conventional SMLM.

Comments

This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and AIP Publishing. The following article appeared in Applied Physics Letters and may be found at https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5031759.

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