Jump to main content
Jump to site search


Nanoscale deformation in polymers revealed by single-molecule super-resolution localization–orientation microscopy

Author affiliations

Abstract

Mechanical failure occurs through a hierarchical process, making it necessary to understand deformation at all length scales in order to develop advanced materials with, for example, enhanced toughness. This study addresses this challenge by demonstrating an optical imaging technique that detects damage at the nanoscale. We use single-molecule fluorescence microscopy experiments to simultaneously determine the position and orientation of single fluorophores from in-focus widefield images by fitting orientation-dependent point-spread functions determined by vectorial diffraction calculations. This capability is combined with switchable fluorophores in a single-molecule super-resolution microscopy scheme, enabling reconstruction of fluorophore orientation and alignment information at the nanoscale. We apply this method to polymer films deformed by thermal nanoimprint lithography, using fluorophore orientation mapping to detect areas of deformed material as small as 20 nm and distinguish them from neighboring, unperturbed regions. This technique advances the application of super-resolution microscopy in materials science, and may be applied to further the study of nanomechanical phenomena.

Graphical abstract: Nanoscale deformation in polymers revealed by single-molecule super-resolution localization–orientation microscopy

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 21 Sep 2018, accepted on 21 Jan 2019 and first published on 30 Jan 2019


Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/C8MH01187G
Citation: Mater. Horiz., 2019, Advance Article

  •   Request permissions

    Nanoscale deformation in polymers revealed by single-molecule super-resolution localization–orientation microscopy

    M. Wang, J. M. Marr, M. Davanco, J. W. Gilman and J. A. Liddle, Mater. Horiz., 2019, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8MH01187G

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements