Abstract

We describe the corkscrew point spread function (PSF), which can localize objects in three dimensions throughout a 3.2μm depth of field with nanometer precision. The corkscrew PSF rotates as a function of the axial (z) position of an emitter. Fisher information calculations show that the corkscrew PSF can achieve nanometer localization precision with limited numbers of photons. We demonstrate three-dimensional super-resolution microscopy with the corkscrew PSF by imaging beads on the surface of a triangular polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) grating. With 99,000 photons detected, the corkscrew PSF achieves a localization precision of 2.7nm in x, 2.1nm in y, and 5.7nm in z.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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