EPJ D Colloquium - Laser selective spectromicroscopy of myriad single molecules: tool for far-field multicolour materials nanodiagnostics

An illustration of the principles of single-molecule spectromicroscopy

In this EPJ D Colloquium, the authors discuss the main principles, achievements and perspectives in the fields of highly-parallel luminescence spectroscopy and the imaging of single molecules (SMs) in transparent solids. Special attention is given to SM detection at low temperatures, where ultranarrow and bright zero-phonon lines (ZPLs) can be generated by emitting centres for observation.

The frequencies of the ZPLs can be used to separate multiple SM images within a diffraction-limited volume, thus realising "multicolour" super-resolution microscopy. The extreme sensitivity of ZPL parameters to the local environment allows SM spectromicroscopy to be applied to the study of the structure and dynamics of doped solids on the nanometre scale.

The authors demonstrate that the way to "bridge" between the accidental rare events detected by SM probes and the more general material properties is a statistical analysis of spectral-spatial data, obtained by independent detection of all effectively-fluorescing dye centres in a bulk sample. Finally, the first experimental realisation of three-dimensional phononless luminescence SM spectromicroscopy with a modified SM point-spread function is presented.

Pere Roca i Cabarrocas and Daniel Lincot
ISSN: 2105-0716 (Electronic Edition)

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