A microscopy platform that leverages the arrival time of individual photons to enable 3D single-particle tracking of fast-moving (translational diffusion coefficient of ≃3.3 µm2/s) particles in high-background environments is reported here. It combines a hardware-based time-gating module, which enables the rate of photon processing to be as high as 100 MHz, with a two-photon-excited 3D single-particle tracking confocal microscope to enable high sample penetration depth. Proof-of-principle experiments where single quantum dots are tracked in solutions containing dye-stained cellulose, are shown with tracking performance markedly improved using the hardware-based time-gating module. Such a microscope design is anticipated to be of use to a variety of communities who wish to track single particles in cellular environments, which commonly have high fluorescence and scattering background.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry