Photonic emitter manipulation to sample nanoscale topography

N. Mateos, R. Molenaar, M. M.A.E. Claessens, C. Blum*

*Corresponding author for this work

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We demonstrate that photonic emitter manipulation can be used to image the nanoscale topography of a fluorescently labeled layer in confocal imaging. We exploit the fact that a metallic probe manipulates a fluorophore’s photonic environment, and thereby its fluorescent lifetime, in a strongly distance-dependent manner. To image surface topography, a metallic probe that is not in contact with the surface is rasterscanned over a fluorescently labeled sample. The axial position of the probe is kept constant. At each lateral probe position, the fluorescence decay is recorded and analyzed to obtain probe – sample distances and hence, the topography of the sample. We present images resolving a microfabricated step of 14 nm in topography, with the probe positioned at different axial positions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11698-11708
Number of pages11
JournalOptics express
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2019

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