"The new technique is more versatile, easier to implement, and more accurate by an order of magnitude than conventional near-field scanning optical microscopy," says Shapiro's colleague, Prof. Edo Waks (Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics). "Basically, we can take a microscope, add a disposable microfluidic device, and beat the capabilities of an NSOM at a fraction of the cost and complexity.
"An undergraduate could build the basic two-channel microfluidic device used in the process, using standard soft-fabrication techniques, in less than an hour for under $50," he adds.
The UMD team is hoping to package all of the necessary system components into an inexpensive add-on product for microscopes.
Support for the ResearchSupport for this research has been provided by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Office of Naval Research (ONR). The project evolved from early research supported by Shapiro's 2004 National Science Foundation grant. In addition to Shapiro and Waks, research team members and co-authors include: Prof. John Fourkas (Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Institute for Physical Science and Technology), Ph.D. students Chad Ropp (Electrical and Computer Engineering) and Zachary Cummins (Bioengineering), and alumnus Sanghee Nah (Ph.D., 2012, Chemistry). For More Information, See: "Nanoscale imaging and spontaneous emission control with a single nano-positioned quantum dot," Nature Communications, DOI 10.1038/ncomms2477, published online February 5, 2013. Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hinFszTmg8&feature=youtu.be SOURCE University of Maryland