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Multi-color Imaging with Sub-20-nm Cathodolumninescent Nanoprobes Using Electron Microscopy
Taking advantage of a microscope detection scheme developed by Foundry staff, a team of users detected cathodoluminescence emission spectra from individual sub-20-nm nanoparticles in 9 distinct colors.
Significance and Impact
This study provides the first demonstration of functional cathodoluminescence (CL) in electron microscopy. This new detection scheme could enable a new bioimaging technology capable of resolving individual proteins and protein interactions with color coding that indicates function.
- The researchers synthesized lanthanide-doped nanoparticles less than 20 nm in size. Nanoparticles were doped with different lanthanides to generate different colored emissions.
- At the Molecular Foundry, the research team developed a custom detection scheme for the electron microscope in order to capture the cathodoluminescence of individual nanoparticles. Measured spectra were compared to simulations for each dopant.
- The results demonstrate this technique provides information at the resolution and brightness required for bioimaging applications.
M.B. Prigozhin, P.C. Maurer, A.M. Courtis, N. Liu, M.D. Wisser, C. Siefe, B. Tian, E. Chan, G. Song, S. Fischer, S. Aloni, D.F. Ogletree, E.S. Barnard, L-M. Joubert, J. Rao, A.P. Alivisatos, R.M. Macfarlane, B.E. Cohen, Y. Cui, J.A. Dionne, S. Chu. Nat. Nano. 2019. DOI:10.1038/s41565-019-0395-0