Swimming Microrobot Optical Nanoscopy.

TitleSwimming Microrobot Optical Nanoscopy.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsLi J, Liu W, Li T, Rozen I, Zhao J, Bahari B, Kante B, Wang J
JournalNano Lett
Date Published2016 Oct 12

Optical imaging plays a fundamental role in science and technology but is limited by the ability of lenses to resolve small features below the fundamental diffraction limit. A variety of nanophotonic devices, such as metamaterial superlenses and hyperlenses, as well as microsphere lenses, have been proposed recently for subdiffraction imaging. The implementation of these micro/nanostructured lenses as practical and efficient imaging approaches requires locomotive capabilities to probe specific sites and scan large areas. However, directed motion of nanoscale objects in liquids must overcome low Reynolds number viscous flow and Brownian fluctuations, which impede stable and controllable scanning. Here we introduce a new imaging method, named swimming microrobot optical nanoscopy, based on untethered chemically powered microrobots as autonomous probes for subdiffraction optical scanning and imaging. The microrobots are made of high-refractive-index microsphere lenses and powered by local catalytic reactions to swim and scan over the sample surface. Autonomous motion and magnetic guidance of microrobots enable large-area, parallel and nondestructive scanning with subdiffraction resolution, as illustrated using soft biological samples such as neuron axons, protein microtubulin, and DNA nanotubes. Incorporating such imaging capacities in emerging nanorobotics technology represents a major step toward ubiquitous nanoscopy and smart nanorobots for spectroscopy and imaging.

Alternate JournalNano Lett.
PubMed ID27608508
IRG Funded