Nanoparticle size determination using optical microscopes
Ravikiran Attota, Richard J. Kasica, Premsagar P. Kavuri, Hyeong G. Kang, Lei Chen
We present a simple method for size determination of nanoparticles using conventional optical microscopes. The method, called through-focus scanning optical microscopy (TSOM), makes use of the four-dimensional optical information collected at different focus positions. Low partial coherence illumination combined with analysis of through-focus optical content enables nanoparticle size determination with nanometer scale sensitivity. We experimentally demonstrate this using fabricated Si nanodots and spherical gold nanoparticles. The method is economical, as no hardware modifications to conventional optical microscopes are needed. In addition, the method also has high throughput and potential for soft nanoparticle size determination without distortion.