Recent advances in superresolution fluorescence microscopy have been limited by a belief that surpassing two-fold resolution enhancement of the Rayleigh resolution limit requires stimulated emission or the fluorophore to undergo state transitions. Here we demonstrate a new superresolution method that requires only image acquisitions with a focused illumination spot and computational post-processing. The proposed method utilizes the focused illumination spot to effectively reduce the object size and enhance the object sparsity and consequently increases the resolution and accuracy through nonlinear image post-processing. This method clearly resolves 70nm resolution test objects emitting ~530nm light with a 1.4 numerical aperture (NA) objective, and, when imaging through a 0.5NA objective, exhibits high spatial frequencies comparable to a 1.4NA widefield image, both demonstrating a resolution enhancement above two-fold of the Rayleigh resolution limit. More importantly, we examine how the resolution increases with photon numbers, and show that the more-than-two-fold enhancement is achievable with realistic photon budgets.
Yu, Jiun-Yann; Becker, Stephen R; Folberth, James; Wallin, Bruce F; Chen, Simeng; and Cogswell, Carol J, "Achieving superresolution with illumination-enhanced sparsity." (2018). Electrical, Computer & Energy Engineering Faculty Contributions. 21.