Architecting Sub-2 nm Organosilica Nanohybrids for Far-field Super-resolution Imaging.

Xiaogang Liu, Liangliang Liang, Wei Yan, Xian Qin, Xiao Peng, Feng Han, Yu Wang, Ziyu Zhu, Lingmei Liu, Yu Han, Qinghua Xu, Junle Qu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy enables ultrastructural imaging of biological samples with high spatiotemporal resolution. Herein, we report a new class of STED nanoprobes based on fluorescent organosilica nanohybrids featuring sub-2 nm physical dimension and near-unity quantum yield. Corroborated by theoretical calculations, we experimentally demonstrate that the detrimental spin-orbit coupling (SOC) effect of heavy-atom-rich organic fluorophores can be effectively mitigated through a silane-molecule-mediated hydrolysis-condensation/dehalogenation process, resulting in bright fluorescent organosilica nanohybrids integrating with multiple emitters in one hybrid nanodot. When harnessed as STED nanoprobes, these sub-2 nm fluorescent nanohybrids show intense photoluminescence, high biocompatibility, and satisfactory long-term photostability. By taking advantages of the low-power excitation (0.5 uW), prolonged singlet-state lifetime, and negligible depletion-induced re-excitation, these fluorescent STED nanohybrids present high depletion efficiency (> 96%), extremely low saturation intensity (PSat = 0.54 mW, ~0.188 MW/cm2), and eventually ultra-high lateral resolution of sub-20 nm (~Wavelength em/28). We believe that this approach may facilitate the expansion of the nanoprobe toolbox across imaging and biological disciplines.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)746-751
Number of pages6
JournalAngewandte Chemie (International ed. in English)
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 31 2019

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: This work is supported by the Singapore Ministry of Education (MOE2017-T2-2-110), Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) (Grant NO. A1883c0011), National Research Foundation, Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore under its Competitive Research Program (Award No. NRF-CRP15-2015-03) and under the NRF Investigatorship programme (Award No. NRF-NRFI05-2019-0003), the National Key R&D Program of China (2017YFA0700500), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21771135, 21701119, 61705137, 81727804, 61975127), the Science and Technology Project of Shenzhen (KQJSCX20180328093614762). The computational work for this article was supported by resources of the Hihg Performance Computing System at National University of Singapore. 10.1002/anie.201912404.


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