The use of plasmon amplification of nonlinear optical wave-mixing signals to generate optical images in which the position of the scattering point source can be determined with nanometer accuracy is described. Solid gold nanosphere dimers were used as a model system for the nonlinear medium, which converted the Ti:sapphire fundamental to its second harmonic frequency. Matching the fundamental wave energy to the localized surface plasmon resonance of the electromagnetically coupled nanospheres was critical for achieving the high localization accuracy. Our technique, named Nonlinear Optical Localization using Electromagnetic Surface fields (NOLES) imaging, routinely yielded nonlinear optical images with 1-nm localization accuracy at rates ≥2 fps and can also be used as a photo-switching localization contrast method. This high level of accuracy in pinpointing the signal point source position exceeded that made possible using conventional diffraction-limited far-field methods by 160×. The NOLES technique, with its high temporal resolution and spatial accuracy that far surpass the performance typical of fluorescence-based imaging, will be relevant for imaging dynamic chemical, biological, and material environments.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry