Foundry staff and users demonstrated photon avalanching in single nanoparticles at room temperature. Their record-high non-linearities allowed users to image the particles optically with 70-nm resolution.
Significance and Impact
This is the first demonstration of photon avalanching in single nanostructures. This work will unlock a variety of applications from deep-brain imaging to quantum sensing.
- Guided by theory and novel nanocrystal synthesis technology, the researchers developed Tm3+-doped upconverting avalanching nanoparticles (ANPs) that operate at room temperature using NIR excitation at spectral windows of maximal biological transparency.
- The new ANPs allow deeply sub-wavelength imaging using only scanning confocal microscopy, which compared to other superresolution techniques uses far simpler instrumentation and allows for real-time imaging. These improvements enable ANPs to immediately enhance the resolution and signal-to-noise levels of nearly all optical super-resolution methods >5 times and at ca. 100-fold lower pump intensities than possible with other probes.