FIP Virtual Seminar "Interferometric detection of scattering (iSCAT): from sensing to microscopy"

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Wed, 04/07/2021 - 12:00 to 13:00

Professor Vahid Sandoghdar


Dr. Vahid Sandoghdar, Professor Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Germany


Fluorescence microscopy has been the workhorse of biological microscopy in the last half a century, leading to super-resolution microscopy. While fluorescence labeling remains a powerful tool for many studies, it also poses fundamental limitations, which have motivated many groups to develop fluorescence-free measurement methods. Scattering offers many interesting opportunities for these efforts, but lack of spectral specificity makes the detection of small objects via scattering challenging. Nearly two decades ago, we showed that, nevertheless, single gold nanoparticles as small as 5 nm could be detected via interferometric detection, giving birth to a new detection scheme that was later coined iSCAT. Since then, it has been shown that small unlabeled proteins could be detected and counted, and transmembrane proteins tracked on living cells using gold nanoparticles as scattering label. In this presentation, I discuss the technical subtleties of iSCAT, its principal advantages and several new studies that have become possible by it.

Dr. Vahid Sandoghdar is one of the pioneers of the field of Nano-Optics, which merges various methods and research areas to investigate fundamental issues in the interaction between light and matter at the nanometer scale. His current research ranges from quantum optics, plasmonics and ultrahigh resolution microscopy to nanobiophysics. Sandoghdar obtained his B.S. in physics from the University of California at Davis in 1987 and Ph.D. in physics from Yale University in 1993. After a postdoctoral stay at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris he moved to the University of Konstanz in Germany, where he started a new line of research to combine single molecule spectroscopy, scanning probe microscopy and quantum optics. In 2001, he accepted a chair at the Laboratory of Physical Chemistry at ETH in Zurich, Switzerland. In 2011, he became director at the newly established Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light in Erlangen and Alexander von Humboldt Professor at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany. Vahid Sandoghdar is the founder of the new Max-Planck-Zentrum für Physik und Medizin, a joint research center that aims to address questions in fundamental medical research with physical and mathematical methods.