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3D Particle Trajectories Observed by Orthogonal Tracking Microscopy



Matthew D. McMahon, Andrew J. Berglund, Peter T. Carmichael, Jabez J. McClelland, James A. Liddle


We demonstrate high-resolution, high-speed 3D nanoparticle tracking using angled micromirrors. When angled micromirrors are introduced into the field of view of an optical microscope, reflected side-on views of a diffusing nanoparticle are projected alongside the usual direct image. The experimental design allows us to find the 3D particle trajectory using fast, centroid-based image processing, with no nonlinear computing operations. We have tracked polystyrene particles of 190 nm diameter with position measurement precision <20 nm in 3D with 3 ms frame duration (i.e., at an imaging rate >330 frames per second). Because the image processing requires only ≈1 ms per frame, this technique could enable real-time feedback-controlled nanoparticle assembly applications with nanometer precision.
ACS Nano


orthogonal tracking microscopy, particle tracking, three-dimensional microscopy, optical microscopy, digital video microscopy, multiple vantage point microscopy


McMahon, M. , Berglund, A. , Carmichael, P. , McClelland, J. and Liddle, J. (2009), 3D Particle Trajectories Observed by Orthogonal Tracking Microscopy, ACS Nano, [online], (Accessed April 18, 2024)
Created February 9, 2009, Updated February 19, 2017