Calibration Devices for Optical Microscopy at Subnanometer Scales

C.R. Copeland, J.A. Liddle, C.D. McGray, J. Geist, B.R. Ilic, S.M. Stavis
National Institute of Standards and Technology,
United States

Keywords: microscopy, superresolution, subnanometer, calibration


Optical microscopy methods of imaging and localizing subresolution emitters such as fluorescent molecules and nanoparticles have had huge impact in fields ranging from engineering to materials to biology. While such measurements have achieved subnanometer precision, this is false precision in the absence of calibrations that enable accuracy at such length scales. In this regard, there is commercial interest in calibration devices for optical imaging systems, as well as recent application of such devices to localization microscopy. However, calibration devices that are traceable to the International System of Units at subnanometer scales are not yet commercially available. To accelerate the commercialization of such nanotechnologies, we develop a subresolution aperture array as a multifunctional calibration device. Our use of the CNST NanoFab at NIST facilitates the future production of such devices for broader use, and our results establish a metrological foundation for accurate localization of optical emitters at subnanometer scales.