The Nanonics MV 1000 Near Field Scanning Optical Microscope was installed in June of 2006.  It is housed in the Molecular and Biological Imaging Center suite of laboratories within the Byrd Biotechnology Building.

Cultured cells were one of the first samples imaged with this system.


Simultaneously acquired AFM image (left) and transmitted light NSOM image (488 nm) of cultured fibroblast cells on glass cover slip.  Note broadening of features in AFM image due to finite fiber tip size.

Near Field Scanning Optical microscopes operate on the principle that an optical aperture or light source (either a hole in a scanning probe or a sharpened fiber optic or an irradiated nanoparticle emitter) when brought into near contact with the sample (distances much less than the wavelength of the light of interest are termed near field), can sense changes in optical properties of the sample at length scales much smaller than the resolution achievable with traditional optical systems. 

Currently our system uses a 488 nm wavelength diode laser source to irradiate one end of a fiber optic which has been sharpened and shaped to act as a cantilever for an Atomic Force Microscope.  The nominal tip diameter can be as small as 30 nm.  Using an avalanche photodiode detector and single photon counting, images can be acquired in two optical modes, transmission and fluorescence (using appropriate filtering of the acquired light).  As shown above, AFM topographic data/images can be simultaneously acquired

These tools and others are utilized to aid in caharcterizing and understanding nanomachines, molecular systems and cell biology through research. To discuss use of the system and/or other imaging systems of interest, please contact Dr. Michael L. Norton or refer to the Contact page for further information.

Click for image of NSOM | Lab View 1 | Lab View 2 |