New law in light microscopy allows for unprecedented resolution

Research report (imported) 2004 - Max Planck Institute for Multidisciplinary Sciences

Hell, Stefan W.
NanoBiophotonik (Prof. Dr. Stefan W. Hell), Max-Planck-Institut für biophysikalische Chemie, Göttingen

Light microscopy has continually played a key role in science, but diffraction has limited the imaging of details that are smaller than about half the wavelength of light. For the important contrast mode of fluorescence, which is crucial to modern cell and molecular biology, the diffraction barrier has now been broken. In spite of relying on focused visible light, stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy is not limited by diffraction. To date, current schemes of STED-microscopy have delivered 50 nm (1/12 of the wavelength) resolution on cell membranes.

For the full text, see the German version.

Go to Editor View