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Superresolution Microscopy of the Volume Phase Transition of pNIPAM Microgels

By Gaurasundar Marc Conley, Söfi Nojd, Marco Braibanti, Peter Schurtenberger and Frank Scheffold


Hierarchical polymer structures such as pNIPAM microgels have been extensively studied for their ability to undergo significant structural and physical transformations that can be controlled by external stimuli such as temperature, pH or solvent composition. However, direct three-dimensional visualization of individual particles in situ have so far been hindered by insufficient resolution, with optical microscopy, or contrast, with electron microscopy. In recent years superresolution microscopy techniques have emerged that in principle can provide nanoscopic optical resolution. Here we report on the in-situ superresolution microscopy of dye-labeled submicron sized pNIPAM microgels revealing the internal microstructure during swelling and collapse of individual particles. Using direct STochastic Optical Reconstruction Microscopy (dSTORM) we demonstrate a lateral optical resolution of 30nm and an axial resolution of 60nm.Comment: 7 pages, 5 figure

Topics: Condensed Matter - Soft Condensed Matter, Condensed Matter - Mesoscale and Nanoscale Physics, Physics - Optics
Publisher: 'Elsevier BV'
Year: 2015
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.colsurfa.2016.03.010
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