A compact STED microscope providing 3D nanoscale resolution


Stefan W. Hell. Tel: +49 (0)551 201-2500; fax: +49 (0)551 201-2505; e-mail: shell@gwdg.de


The advent of supercontinuum laser sources has enabled the implementation of compact and tunable stimulated emission depletion fluorescence microscopes for imaging far below the diffraction barrier. Here we report on an enhanced version of this approach displaying an all-physics based resolution down to (19 ± 3) nm in the focal plane. Alternatively, this single objective lens system can be configured for 3D imaging with resolution down to 45 × 45 × 108 nm in a cell. The obtained results can be further improved by mathematical restoration algorithms. The far-field optical nanoscale resolution is attained in a variety of biological samples featuring strong variations in the local density of features.