Science of Rock 'n' Roll - Single Molecule and Nanoparticle Imaging in Biophysical, Surface, and Photocatalysis Studies

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Date/Time:Thursday, 04 Apr 2013 - Saturday, 06 Apr 2013
Location:PHYSICS Hall Room 5
Channel:Condensed Matter Physics
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Ning Fang Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Iowa State University

The research in the Fang Laboratory at Iowa State University and Ames Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy aims to open up new frontiers in chemical and biological discovery through the development and use of novel optical imaging platforms, which provide sub-diffraction-limited spatial resolution, high angular resolution, excellent detectability, and/or nanometer localization precision for single molecules and nanoparticles.
1. Rotational Tracking: The knowledge of rotational dynamics in and on live cells remains highly limited due to technical limitations. The single particle orientation and rotational tracking (SPORT) technique has been developed for visualizing rotational motions of anisotropic plasmonic gold nanorods under a differential interference contrast (DIC) microscope. The SPORT technique is capable of extracting important information (including rotational rates, modes, and directions) on the characteristic rotational dynamics involved in complex biological processes, such as endocytosis and intracellular transport.
2. Fluorescence Super-Resolution and High-Precision Tracking: A fully automatic calibration and scanning prism-type total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) and scattering (TIRS) microscope has been constructed for high-precision tracking of single molecules and nanoparticles. Stable signals from non-blinking quantum dots under the automated TIRF microscope allows for continuous super-localization of single quantum dots with sub-10-nm precision in both lateral and axial directions. This system is also being used to reveal the nature and photocatalytic properties of the surface active sites on single Au-CdS hybrid nanocatalysts.