Optical Resolution Breakthrough Utilizing Graphene
Jörg Enderlein, a researcher at the University of Göttingen, and his team have developed a new method that utilizes the electromagnetic interactions of graphene with fluorescing molecules. This method enables scientists to optically measure incredibly small distances (1 ångström) with a high degree of precision. As demonstrated by Enderlein’s research team, they were able to measure the thickness of lipid bilayers, the material component of cell membranes.
The astonishing degree of accuracy of this method is a result of the superb optical transparency of graphene and its ability to modulate through the space created by the molecules’ emission.
"Our method has enormous potential for super-resolution microscopy because it allows us to localize single molecules with nanometer resolution not only laterally (as with earlier methods) but also with similar accuracy along the third direction, which enables true three-dimensional optical imaging on the length scale of macromolecules," says Arindam Ghosh, the first author of the paper published in Nature Photonics.