New publication: Myth-bursting work on microscopy

Are slides made of silicon really a better alternative than petri dishes or glass slides to hold biological samples while imaging them using microscopes?

Figure 1 in the publication. Sketch of sample region of a microscope with a water immersion objective lens when samples are (a) in petri dish and (b) on the silicon substrate, respectively.

Generally, petri dishes or glass slides are used to hold biological samples while imaging them using microscopes. However, with new photonic chip-based microscopes, slides made of silicon have also become an interesting option. It is often thought that they may even support better resolution (1–3) than just using glass slides.

A recent paper published in Optics Express (4) by researchers in the Nanoscopy group at UiT The Arctic University of Norway breaks this myth. While it proves that the resolution is indeed altered, it shows that the resolution may become better or worse depending upon various factors.

  1. Ahmad, Azeem, et al. "Sub-nanometer height sensitivity by phase shifting interference microscopy under environmental fluctuations." Optics express 28.7 (2020): 9340-9358.
  2. Elsayad, Kareem, et al. "Spectrally coded optical nanosectioning (SpecON) with biocompatible metal–dielectric-coated substrates." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110.50 (2013): 20069-20074.
  3. Archetti, Anna, et al. "Waveguide-PAINT offers an open platform for large field-of-view super-resolution imaging." Nature communications 10.1 (2019): 1-9.
  4. Liu, Zicheng, and Krishna Agarwal. "Silicon substrate significantly alters dipole-dipole resolution in coherent microscope." Optics Express 28.26 (2020): 39713-39726.
By The nanoRIP project
Published Feb. 23, 2021 10:15 AM - Last modified Feb. 23, 2021 10:44 AM