Applied Physics B

, Volume 60, Issue 5, pp 495–497 | Cite as

Ground-state-depletion fluorscence microscopy: A concept for breaking the diffraction resolution limit

  • S. W. Hell
  • M. Kroug
Rapid Communication


We introduce and study a novel concept in farfield fluorescence microscopy fundamentally overcoming the classical diffraction resolution limit. This is accomlished by reducing the spatial extent of the effective focus of a scanning fluorescence microscope. The reduction is achieved by depleting the ground-state energy of the molecules located in the outer region of the focus. Our theoretical study shows that ground-state-depletion fluorescence microscopy has the potential of increasing the resolution of far-field fluorescence microscopy by an order of magnitude which is equivalent to a lateral resolution of 15 NM.


07.60 87.64 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. W. Hell
    • 1
  • M. Kroug
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medical PhysicsUniversity of Turku, and Centre for BiotechnologyTurkuFinland

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