We introduce a self-bending point spread function (SB-PSF) based on Airy beams for three-dimensional (3D) super-resolution fluorescence imaging. We designed a side-lobe-free SB-PSF for the incoherent fluorescence emission and implemented a two-channel detection scheme for the SB-PSF to enable unambiguous 3D localization of fluorescent molecules. The lack of diffraction and the propagation-dependent lateral bending make the SB-PSF ideal for precise 3D localization of molecules over a large imaging depth. Using this SB-PSF, we demonstrated super-resolution imaging with isotropic localization precisions of 10-15 nm in all three dimensions over a 3 μm imaging depth without sample scanning.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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