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SMS Virtual Lab Tour

Single Molecule Spectroscopy laboratory (SMS lab) of Ivan Scheblykin is equipped with three wide-field fluorescence microscopes (M1, M2 and M3) allowing for luminescence imaging and spectroscopy of any sample from a single molecule and single particle to solutions and thin films. Samples can be studied in gas atmospheres, in vacuum and at cryogenic temperatures using a liquid nitrogen/helium micro cryostat (400 – 10K).


Excitation laser sources:

CW lasers: Ar-ion laser (457, 488, 514 nm), He-Ne laser (546, 633 nm).

PicoQuant pulsed diode lasers (150 ps pulse width, repetition rate from 80MHz to 1 Hz): 405, 485, 640 nm driven by Multichannel Picosecond Diode Laser Driver (PDL 828, Serpia II, PicoQuant).

Super-Continuum fiber laser (NKT Photonics), <200 ps pulse width, equipped with a monochromator allowing for excitation wavelength scanning from 430 to 800 nm.



Three EM CCD cameras (one on each microscope) which are used for imaging and measuring of luminescence spectra.

Two fast avalanche photodiodes (APD, Micro-Photonic devices, 100 ps time resolution) and Hybrid Photomultiplier Detector Assembly (PicoQuant) which are used for luminescence decay and photon correlation measurements (100 ps time resolution). Time correlated single photon counting (TCSPC) is realized using PicoHarp 300 and MultiHarp 150 time tagging electronics (PicoQuant).


Microscope M1 (multi-purpose), main experiments:

  • Luminescence imaging
  • Super-resolution imaging (based on luminescence blinking)
  • Luminescence spectral imaging
  • Luminescence excitation imaging, excitation wavelength is continuously scanned by the monochromator coupled to the Super-continuum laser (single molecule sensitivity)
  • Luminescence emission/excitation mapping (with single molecule sensitivity)
  • Luminescence decay measurements (TCSPC)
  • Photon-corelations (e.g. anti-bunching)
  • User-designed experiments


Microscope M2:

This microscope is specially built for 2-dimentional polarization imaging (2DPOLIM). This method has been proposed and developed by Scheblykin’s group. The method is based on advanced measurements of luminescence and luminescence excitation polarization allows for monitoring of energy transfer in individual nanoantenna. See details in:

Camacho, Täuber, Scheblykin, “Fluorescence Anisotropy Reloaded—Emerging Polarization Microscopy Methods for Assessing Chromophores' Organization and Excitation Energy Transfer in Single Molecules, Particles, Films, and BeyondAdv. Mat. 2019 31 (2019) 1805671, DOI:adma.201805671

Camacho et al, “Quantitative characterization of light-harvesting efficiency in single molecules and nanoparticles by 2D polarization microscopy: Experimental and theoretical challenges”, Chem. Phys. 406 (2012) 30-40, DOI:chemphys.2012.03.001


Microscope M3:

M3 uses a streak camera as a detector. Luminescence decay of strongly luminescent photostable objects (like semiconductor nanowires) can be measured with 2 ps time resolution under excitation by 200 fs pulses from Ti-Sapphire laser.


Special analysis tools and expertise:

Luminescence blinking analysis including power spectral density

Luminescence polarization analysis for 2DPOLIM

Super-resolution imaging analysis

Automation of complex experimental routines



Lab responsible and contact person: Prof. Ivan Scheblykin,