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Opt Express. 2008 Sep 15;16(19):15297-303.

Strong electromagnetic confinement near dielectric microspheres to enhance single-molecule fluorescence.

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  • 1Institut Fresnel, Aix-Marseille Université, CNRS, 13397 Marseille, France.


Latex microspheres are used as a simple and low-cost means to achieve three axis electromagnetic confinement below the standard diffraction limit. We demonstrate their use to enhance the fluorescence fluctuation detection of single molecules. Compared to confocal microscopy with high numerical aperture, we monitor a detection volume reduction of one order of magnitude below the diffraction limit together with a 5-fold gain in the fluorescence rate per molecule. This offers new opportunities for a broad range of applications in biophotonics, plasmonics, optical data storage and ultramicroscopy.

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