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Opportunity at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Superresolution Molecular Spectroscopy for Bioimaging and Biodetection


Physical Measurement Laboratory, Quantum Electromagnetics Division

RO# Location
50.68.72.B8016 Boulder, CO

Please note: This Agency only participates in the February and August reviews.


Name E-mail Phone
Briggman, Kimberly A. 303.497.7287
Hwang, Jeeseong 303.497.6588
Plusquellic, David Francis 303-497-6089


Optical tools provide highly sensitive and specific means of detecting and quantifying the presence of biological materials as well as characterizing their properties. This project emphasizes the development and application of superresolution and superspecificity optical technologies for the targeted detection and imaging of single biological molecules and trace biological compounds for medical diagnostics, as well as for biological threat and contamination detection. The key technical approach of this project is the integration of scanning probe microscopy techniques including near-field microscopy and plasmonic enhanced atomic force microscopy with a broad range of optical spectroscopy techniques including fluorescence, Raman, nonlinear mixing, and THz to enable nanoscale spectroscopic imaging.

Resources: (1) Asylum Research MFP-3D atomic force microscope with a conductive AFM option; (2) two home-built near-field scanning optical microscopes for imaging biological and solid state sample characterization; (3) a variety of cw and pulsed lasers (Ti:Sapphire laser, UV-VIS laser, pulsed supercontinuum laser, etc.) and THz sources; (4) Leica SP5X hyperspectral confocal microscope with a white-light pulsed laser and a Ti:Sapphire laser, spectrograph-coupled photon-counting detectors, and single Pico-quant photon counting correlation spectroscopy setup; (5) a variety of world-class molecular spectroscopy setups including fluorescence lifetime correlation spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, chirped pulse and broadband cw THz spectroscopy, nonlinear spectroscopy; (6) hyperspectra dark-field microscopy for nanoscale sample characterization; (7) a variety of computational and modeling software packages including Finite-Difference Time-Domain (FDTD) simulation software for electromagnetic field calculation, COMSOL Multiphysics numerical simulation package, Gaussian electronic structure calculation program, and IDL/ENVI software for the multivariate analysis of spectroscopic image data cubes; DMol3 for ab initio calculations of material properties including spectra for periodic boundary conditions; and (8) a BSL2 laboratory with a 3D printer for 3D cell culture and a variety of analytical chemistry equipment for sample and tip characterization.



Huang B, Bates M, Zhuang X: Annual Review of Biochemistry 78: 993, 2009

Wickramasinghe HK, Chaigneau M, Yasukuni R, Picardi G, Ossikovski R: Billion-Fold Increase in Tip-Enhanced Raman Signal, ACS NANO 8(4): 3421-3426, April 2014.


Superresolution nanoscale imaging; Single molecule; Plasmonic; Scanning probe microscope; Near-field; Fluorescence spectroscopy; Raman spectroscopy; THz spectroscopy;


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants
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