This paper presents a method for modifying the point spread function (PSF) into a doughnut-like shape, through the utilization of the plasma dispersion effect (PDE) of silicon-coated gold nanoparticles. This modified PSF has spatial components smaller than the diffraction limit, and by scanning the sample with it, super-resolution can be achieved. The sample is illuminated using two laser beams. The first is the pump, with a wavelength in the visible region that creates a change in the refractive index of the silicon coating due to the PDE. This creates a change in the localized surface plasmon resonance wavelength. Since the pump beam has a Gaussian profile, the high intensity areas of the beam experience the highest refractive index change. When the second beam (i.e., the probe) illuminates the sample with a near-infrared wavelength, this change in the refractive index is transformed into a change in the PSF profile. The ordinary Gaussian shape is transformed into a doughnut shape, with higher spatial frequencies, which enables one to achieve super-resolution by scanning the specimen using this PSF. This is a step toward the creation of a nonfluorescent nanoscope.
- scanning microscopy