Chiral structured illumination microscopy : a microscopy modality for imaging fluorescent chiral domains at sub-wavelength resolution

This thesis covers the development of chiral structured illumination microscopy (chiral SIM), a novel wide-field super-resolution microscopy that is able to address the shortcomings restricting the capability of conventional chiral imaging techniques. Ac- cordingly, the research background and fundamentals in regards to this new microscopy method are introduced at the beginning. The subsequent chapters illustrate the de- velopment of chiral SIM in both theoretical and experimental aspects. In particular, we establish the theoretical framework of chiral SIM and investigate possible far-field illumination schemes for its experimental realization. The proof-of-principle numerical simulations demonstrate its ability to image and discriminate chiral domains at super- resolution. The signal-to-noise ratio of the chiral SIM images simulated under different experimental conditions is analyzed to inspect the performance of chiral SIM. Meanwhile, we study the near-field illumination schemes that exploit the superchiral near fields generated by plasmonic or dielectric nanostructures to reinforce the chiroptical responses and elaborate on the main difficulty of applying them in the proposed chiral SIM method. After a series of theoretical work, we present our experimental attempts at the chiral SIM method. The fabrication and inspection of the selected chiral sample and the optical setups are specifically discussed. Although the experimental results are unsatisfactory, based on the following investigation, we further propose a new optical setup to solve the potential issues of the original chiral SIM setup. Finally, we summarize this thesis and provide suggestions that should be beneficial to the subsequent research in chiral SIM and may also open up new research fields.



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