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Advanced Microscopy Facilities and Equipment

Each AML space is a state-of-the-art room designed for ultrafast lasers, optics, and super-resolution microscopy, with an epoxy-coated isolated concrete slab floor and acoustically insulated walls and ceiling. In addition, each lab space is equipped with custom blackout laser safety drapes and ±2°F temperature control, as well as HEPA filtration, low laminar air flow delivered via fenestrated duct socks, tacky mats, and mandatory booties at the entry to minimize disruptive air currents and particulates. The super-resolution microscope systems are housed on the larger of a pair of 12-inch-thick custom Newport RS4000 tuned damping optical tables (5 ft x 12 ft and 4 ft x 8 ft, respectively) capable of being coupled together in an L configuration if desired (currently they are separate). The tables are supported by Newport S-2000 Series laminar flow isolator legs so that the tables can be either pneumatically floated or supported rigidly depending upon experimental needs.

The home-built, custom, super-microscopes in each lab space use a variety of light sources for excitation of molecules (dyes). In addition to the itemized equipment listed below, the lab spaces are equipped with a variety of general optics and optomechanical supplies, including lenses, mirrors, filters, translation and rotation stages, optics mounts, mounting posts and hardware, etc.

Specific equipment associated with the AML are detailed below:

  • Super-Resolution Microscope System:
    • RUCH 108A: Nikon Ti-U TIRF-Epi inverted microscope with standard through-space and fiber optic coupling of input light sources plus a custom laser port for in-house designed focal drift correction, dual turrets for filters, and three output ports:
      • Mad City Labs XY Micro-Drive stage for coarse positioning of samples
      • Mad City Labs XYZ Nano-Drive piezo stage for fine positioning and focal drift correction
      • Two Princeton Instruments ProEM 512 CCD cameras for imaging and/or spectroscopy as desired
      • PCO Edge 5.5 sCMOS camera
      • Princeton Instruments Acton SP2500 spectrometer for acquiring single-molecule spectra
      • PicoQuant HydraHarp 400
    • MCMR 226C: Nikon Ti2 TIRF inverted microscope with NSTORM and perfect focus:
      • 488, 561, 635 nm CW laser illuminator
      • Princeton Instruments ProEM 512 CCD camera for imaging
      • Mad City Labs XYZ piezo-stage for fine positioning
      • Micro Photon Devices single photon detector
      • OKO incubation chamber for Nikon microscope
      • Thorlab polarimeter
      • Nikon AX confocal laser scanner
      • Nikon DUX-ST2 Filter-Based 2 Channel Detector with 2 High-Sensitivity PMTs
      • PicoQuant HydraHarp 400
      • PicoQuant PMA Hybrid detector connected to dual channel detection unit
    • Light Sources (for microscopes):
      • Multiple solid-state CW lasers from Coherent, Newport, Big Sky Research, and others at 405, 450, 488, 520, 561, 580, 630, 670, 730, 850, 980, 1310, and 1550 nm
        • Thorlabs NanoMax 5-axis fiber alignment stage
      • Coherent/APE Chameleon PP Automatic OPO (~200 fs pulses at 80 MHz repetition rate; output tunable over 500–750 nm, 1.1–1.6 µm, and 1.75–3.3 µm with 800 nm pump, but Coherent Chameleon Ultra II pump source is currently down)
      • YSL super-continuum fiber laser SC-Pro-6 (in MCMR 226C) and SC-Pro-7 (in RUCH 108A) and a custom-made laser safety box to select wavelength (in MCMR 226C)
      • Acousto-optic tunable fiber (AOTF)
      • PicoQuant Motorized laser combining unit from at 530 nm (Pulsed and CW modes) controlled by PicoQuant Sepia PDL 828
    • Laser Power/Energy Meter:
      • Coherent LabMax-TOP laser power and energy meter (additional to LabMax-TOP in Ultrafast Lab; heads are shared between labs)
    • Lab Test Equipment:
      • Agilent Infiniium DSO81204B (12 GHz, 40 GSa/s, 4 channels) digitizing oscilloscope
      • Agilent 2 GHz spectrum analyzer
      • Agilent 1.3 GHz network analyzer
      • Keysight 250 MHz frequency counter
    • Signal Processing Electronics and Optical Choppers:
      • Stanford Research Systems Model DG535 digital delay generator
      • Stanford Research Systems Model SR830 DSP dual phase lock-in amplifier
      • Oriel Model 75160 optical chopper and controller with 12-hole blade wheel