Micro/Nano Fabrication and Imaging using Super-Resolution Micro-Bead Lenses


Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

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  • Yi LI


Awarding Institution
Award date10 Nov 2016


Super-resolution optical microscopy is a relatively new but very important microscopy technique that circumvents optical diffraction limit and is suited for imaging objects with length-scale below 200 nanometers. In general, based on the “super-lens” parameters (such as geometry and refractive index), the illumination light source (such as spectrum and intensity), as well as the optical properties of the solution and the emitting wavelength of the fluorescent molecules, the imaging performance of super-resolution technique may vary significantly. This dissertation explores the geometric effects of “super-lens” for micro-bead-based super-resolution microscopy, which has been found to be a relatively simple technique to implement in observing structures below the sub-diffraction limit. This dissertation also presents results of applying micro-bead-based “super-lens” in reducing projection image size, which is applicable in the micro-fabrication of hydrogel structures.

Discussed in this dissertation are three application examples that utilize micro-bead lenses which are integrated into a traditional optical microscope for super-resolution imaging and micro/nano fabrication. The first application applies micro-bead lens as a near-field coupler to couple and magnify the evanescent waves that include fine structural information of sample objects’ shallow surfaces. The optical properties and super-resolution performances of the micro-bead lens apparatus were investigated systematically for this application. Then, the second application example uses the micro-beads lenses to obtain mammalian cell organelle fluorescent super-resolution images under a liquid culture medium. Various experimental conditions and fluorescent super-resolution performance of the micro-bead lens were investigated in this work. The sub-diffraction limit fine structures of in the cell cytoplasm were imaged and compared with traditional fluorescent microscopy images. Lastly, the application of micro-bead lenses to enhance micro/nano polymer fabrication capabilities in an optically-induced electrokinetics (OEK) chip was also explored. That is, micro-bead lenses were introduced into an OEK-based hydrogel polymerization system to further reduce the size of the polymer structures.