Microscope combines confocal microspectroscopy and 3-D scanning probe nanotomography

February 9, 2018, National Research Nuclear University
General view of the device in the laboratory. Credit: MEPhI

Researchers at the National Research Nuclear University MEPhI (Russia) and international colleagues have proposed an original approach to nanoscale 3-D analysis of materials. Their results are published in Ultramicroscopy.

The authors combined all the advantages of several modern approaches to nanoscale measurements in one unit: scanning probe microscopy (analysis of surface and physical parameters of the object), optical microspectroscopy (chemical mapping and determining the ) and nanotomography (accurate 3-D visualization of the internal structure of the object based on the plurality of x-ray images). This combination of methods creates high-quality 3-D nanoscale images of a material to register the spatial distribution of its mechanical, electrical, optical and chemical properties (e.g. elasticity, conductivity, magnetization).

The researchers successfully tested their device in a comprehensive study of fluorescent-labeled polymer microspheres used in modern immunodiagnostics, both for multiparameter detection of markers of various diseases and personalized medicine for the detection of rare events such as the development of circulating cancer cells and micrometastases.

Professor Igor Nabiev said, "This instrumental approach retains all the advantages of scanning microscopy and optical microspectroscopy, allowing us to obtain multi-parametric 3-D features with the effective combination of both methods. The results of the study can be used for successful conversion of analysis data from 2-D to 3-D using most methods of optical probe nanoscopy implemented with modern high-resolution devices."

This development can be used for comprehensive of biological samples. In addition, it opens new possibilities for quality control in the creation of defect-free nanomaterials, systems for targeted delivery of drugs using nano-sized "containers," and also to solve nanosafety problems and associated challenges of determining nanoparticle penetration in organs and tissues of a living organism.

Explore further: Multi-parameter microscopy aids design of improved optoelectronic devices

More information: Konstantin E. Mochalov et al. An instrumental approach to combining confocal microspectroscopy and 3D scanning probe nanotomography, Ultramicroscopy (2017). DOI: 10.1016/j.ultramic.2017.06.022

Related Stories

A more complete picture of the nano world

August 23, 2017

They may be tiny and invisible, says Xiaoji Xu, but the aerosol particles suspended in gases play a role in cloud formation and environmental pollution and can be detrimental to human health.

Micro-spectroscopy opens new routes for diagnostics

November 16, 2017

Just as mechanical properties and chemical compositions of materials are of fundamental importance in buildings, the cells that comprise every living organism have different properties and shapes depending on their function ...

Recommended for you

The secret to measuring the energy of an antineutrino

June 18, 2018

Scientists study tiny particles called neutrinos to learn about how our universe evolved. These particles, well-known for being tough to detect, could tell the story of how matter won out over antimatter a fraction of a second ...

New form of matter may lie just beyond the periodic table

June 15, 2018

Currently, the heaviest element on the periodic table is oganesson, which has an atomic mass of 294 and was officially named in 2016. Like every element on the periodic table, nearly all of oganesson's mass comes from protons ...

A new experiment to understand dark matter

June 15, 2018

Is dark matter a source of a yet unknown force in addition to gravity? The mysterious dark matter is little understood and trying to understand its properties is an important challenge in modern physics and astrophysics. ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.