We present a method to measure the molecular orientation and rotational mobility of single-molecule emitters by designing and implementing a Tri-spot point spread function. It can measure all degrees of freedom related to molecular orientation and rotational mobility. Its design is optimized by maximizing the theoretical limit of its measurement precision. We evaluate the precision and accuracy of the Tri-spot PSF by measuring the orientation and effective rotational mobility of single fluorescent molecules embedded in a polymer matrix.
In single-molecule (SM) super-resolution microscopy, the complexity of a biological structure, high molecular density, and a low signal-to-background ratio (SBR) may lead to imaging artifacts without a robust localization algorithm. Moreover, engineered point spread functions (PSFs) for 3D imaging pose difficulties due to their intricate features. We develop a Robust Statistical Estimation algorithm, called RoSE, that enables joint estimation of the 3D location and photon counts of SMs accurately and precisely using various PSFs under conditions of high molecular density and low SBR.