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Introduced the nanometer optical microscope with the strongest observation ability
2011-3-9 10:46:56

British and Singapore researchers reported on the 1st that they have created an optical microscope capable of observing objects as small as 50 nanometers. This is the optical microscope with the strongest observation capability to date, and it is also the first in the world to be able to observe nanoscale directly under ordinary white light Optical microscope of objects.

Researchers from the University of Manchester in the UK and their Singapore counterparts reported the results in a new issue of Nature Communications the same day. Due to the limitation of the diffraction characteristics of light, the observation limit of an optical microscope is usually about 1 micron. By adding a special "transparent microsphere lens" to the optical microscope, the researchers overcome the above obstacles, bringing this limit to 50 nanometers and increasing the observation ability by 20 times.

The first author of the paper, Dr. Wang Zengbo, told Xinhua News Agency: "This is the only optical microscope in the world that can directly observe nano-scale objects under ordinary white light illumination.

According to reports, electron microscopy is currently used to observe extremely small objects, but it also has some defects. For example, when observing cells, the electron microscope can only show the condition of the cell surface, and cannot be used to observe the internal structure of the cell. Some researchers previously stained the cells, and then used a special light microscope to observe the internal structure of the stained cells, but this method was not effective for viruses because the dye could not enter the virus. This new type of optical microscope provides the first time to observe the internal structure of cells and the mechanism of virus activity under ordinary conditions.

Li Lin, a professor at the University of Manchester who led the study, said this could revolutionize the way cells and viruses are observed, helping to develop new drugs and treatments for diseases.

The researchers also said that similar methods could be used to further create optical microscopes with stronger observation capabilities. Theoretically, this kind of optical microscope based on "transparent microsphere lens" has no observation limit.