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On the sensitivity of Interferometric Cross-Polarisation Microscopy for nanoparticle detection in the near-infrared.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1705-1711
Number of pages7
JournalACS Photonics
Issue number12
Early online date3 Nov 2015
DateAccepted/In press - 3 Nov 2015
DateE-pub ahead of print - 3 Nov 2015
DatePublished (current) - 17 Nov 2015


We address the sensitivity of Interferometric Cross-Polarisation Microscopy by comparing scattering and absorption by spherical 10nm nanoparticles through a combination of modelling and experiment. We show that orthogonality of light in the two polarisation branches of Cross-Polarisation Microscopy ensures that only light that has interacted with a nanoparticle is interferometrically enhanced. As a result background-free shot noise-limited detection is achieved for sub-μW optical powers at the sample. Our modelling in particular shows that in the near-infrared regime, above the plasmon resonance frequency of spherical nanoparticles, the cross-polarisation approach is several orders of magnitude more sensitive than conventional extinction based detection. This enhanced near-infrared sensitivity for spherical nanoparticles is promising for applications requiring low absorption and low power imaging of nanoparticles in cells.

    Research areas

  • Confocal Microscopy, Nanoparticle detection, Mie Scattering, Cross-Polarisation Imaging, Gold nanoparticles, Background free detection, Detection Sensitivity

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