Far-field super-resolution microscopy based on the nonlinear response of photothermal excitation

Omer Tzang, Ori Cheshnovsky

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Far field Super resolution (SR) microscopy, based on the emission of label fluorescent molecules, has become an important tool in life sciences. We present a new, label free, far field SR scheme, aimed towards material science, which is based on ultrafast, nonlinear excitation of materials to non-equilibrium state. In a pump-probe scheme, we optically excite a spatial temperature profile throughout the diffraction limited spot, and probe the material with an overlapping beam. Due to nonlinearities in thermal properties, we demonstrate enhancement of at least x2 better than the diffraction limit. Our approach can be extended to include other temperature dependent physical properties such as Raman scattering, reflection/absorption edge or luminescence. The method is suitable to characterize semiconductor and optoelectronic systems in vacuum, ambient, and liquid, semi-transparent and opaque systems, ultrathin and thick samples alike. In this communication we present the method and discuss some major physical consideration and experimental aspects of its application. We focus the discussion on ultrafast dynamic and thermal properties. We also discuss the applicability of the method in the unique case of VO2 where photo-induced phase transition provides the contrast and present a highly accurate optical edge detection method based on the modulation phase.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUltrafast Phenomena and Nanophotonics XIX
EditorsMarkus Betz, Kong-Thon Tsen, Abdulhakem Y. Elezzabi
ISBN (Electronic)9781628414516
StatePublished - 2015
EventUltrafast Phenomena and Nanophotonics XIX - San Francisco, United States
Duration: 8 Feb 201511 Feb 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceUltrafast Phenomena and Nanophotonics XIX
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco


  • Ramanscattering
  • label-free
  • microscopy
  • photo-thermal
  • semiconductors
  • super-resolution
  • thermo-reflectance
  • ultra-fast dynamics


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