Techniques to observe and track single unlabelled biomolecules are crucial for many areas of nano-biotechnology; allowing to shed light on important nanoscale biological processes. Impressive progress has been made over the past few years to extend the sensitivity of such techniques, primarily via evanescent field enhancement. However, such approaches expose the biological system to greatly increased optical intensity levels. Here, we introduce an evanescent biosensor that operates at the fundamental quantum limit. This allows a five order-of magnitude reduction in optical intensity whilst maintaining state-of-the-art sensitivity and enabling quantum noise limited tracking of single biomolecules as small as 3.5 nm.
Nicolas P. Mauranyapin, Lars Madsen, Michael A. Taylor, Muhammad Waleed, and Warwick P. Bowen, "Evanescent single-molecule biosensing with quantum limited precision (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10347, Optical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation XIV, 103470S (Presented at SPIE Nanoscience + Engineering: August 06, 2017; Published: 25 September 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2276649.5588443405001.
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