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The Nanophotonics Department at INL provides expertise in the analysis of light-matter interactions at various scales: Reaching from the detection of individual fluorescent molecules or nanoparticles to the high-resolution label-free and fluorescence-based imaging of fixed and life cells, e.g. in 2D cell models or tissues.
Furthermore we are experienced to design optically active nanomaterials and characterize e.g. plasmonic interaction effects or surface enhanced Raman effects (SERS) and study optical properties of metamaterials.

Our Nanophotonics Flagship Facility provides a comprehensive set of high-end commercial solutions for imaging and optical spectroscopy suited for the characterization of biological samples and the characterization of new materials.
Furthermore, our researchers are developing new generation imaging and spectroscopy solutions that:

• Are characterized by multimodality, for faster and more comprehensive analysis of your samples and allowing correlative imaging analysis
• Involve the use of INL-developed innovative contrast agents
• Allow optical super-resolution – surpassing the typical few hundreds of nanometer resolution in diffraction-limited classical microscopy and approaching the nanometer scale.

Our interdisciplinary team of physicists, biologists, biomedical engineers and chemists is continuously developing new Nanophotonics techniques that shall help advance our understanding of complex biological and non-biological matter.

Examples of research fields to which the researchers of the INL Nanophotonics department contributes are:

• Toxicology
• Drug delivery systems
• Plasmonic interaction effects and metamaterials
• Nanomedicine
• Biophysics
• Optical and plasmonic sensing technologies
• Quantum Sensing Technologies
• Development of super resolution imaging techniques
• Development of combined microscopies (topography/fluorescence)
• Development of optical active structures for technological applications (LEDs, solar cells)

Techniques available

Nikon Ti-E TIRF/dSTORM – Widefield microscopeTT00000537_20190325_160023

  • Objectives: Plan Fluor 10x/0.3 WD 16; S Plan FLuor ELWD 20x/0.5 WD=8.2; Plan Fluor 40x/0.8 WD 0.66; Plan Apo 60x/1.4 oil WD=0.13; Plan Apo TIRF 60x/1.5 oil WD=0.13; Plan Apo VC 100x/1.4 oil WD 0.13;
  • Lasers:405, 488, 561, and 633 nm;
  • Cameras: Andor DU-897, and Nikon DS-Fi1
  • Full environmental chamber with temperature and CO2 control;
  • Allows: TIRF and dSTORM

Zeiss LSM 780 – Confocal microscope


  • Laser lines: 405, 458, 488, 514, 561, and 633 nm;
  • Objectives: LSM cal 5x/0.16; EC PlnN 10x/0.3; Pln Apo 20x/0.8; EC PlnN 40x/1.3 oil; C Apo 40x/1.2 water; Plan Apo 63x/1.40 oil and 63x/1.4 oil;
  • Environmental chamber with temperature and CO2 control;
  • Allows: Lambda Scan; FRAP; FRET; FCS, and FCCS

Witec Alpha 300R – Confocal Raman microscope


  • Laser lines: 532, 633, and 785 nm;
  • Objectives: EC Epiplan 10x/0.2; EC Epiplan 50x/0.7; EC Epiplan 100x/0.9;
  • Detectors: UHTS300 spectrometers coupled to Andor Peltier cooled CCD detectors
  • Raman imaging is possible with the acquisition of a complete Raman spectrum at each image pixel
  • The Raman system is equipped with 2 gratings: 600g/mm and 1800g/mm

Nikon Eclipse Ti-E – Inverted fluorescence microscopeTT100002_20190514_115132

  • Objectives: Plan Fluo 4x/0.1 WD = 17.1; Plan FLuor 10x/0.30 WD= 16; S Plan Fluor ELWD 20x/0.50 WD=8.2; S Plan Fluor ELWD 60x/0.7 WD=2.6;
  • Camera: Andor NEO sCMOS;


Nikon MA200 – Inverted microscope


  • Objectives: LU Plan Fluor 5x/0.15; LU Plan Fluor 10x/0.3 WD=15; LU Plan Fluor 20x/0.45 WD=4.5;
  • Camera: Nikon DS-Vil;


Nikon Eclipse Ni-E – Upright fluorescence microscopeTT90000233_20180508_153856

  • Objectives: L Plan 1x/0.03 Epi WD=3.8; TU Plan Fluor 5x/0.15 Epi WD=23.5; TU Plan Fluor 20x/0.45 Epi WD=4.5; TU Plan ELWD 50x/0.6 Epi WD=11; Plan APO λ 60x/1.4 oil WD=0.13  TU Plan ELWD 100x/0.8 Eco WD=3.5;
  • Camera: Nikon DS-Fi2 and Hamamatsu Orca-R2;


Nikon LV100 ND – Upright microscope

  • Objectives: LU Plan Fluor 5x/0.15; LU Plan Fluor 10x/0.30 WD=15; LU Plan Fluor 20x/0.45 WD=4.5; TU Plan Fluor  100x/0.9 WD=1.0;
  • Camera: Nikon DS-Fi2;


Nikon SMZ 1500 – Stereoscopic microscope

  • Objectives: Plan Apo 1x WD=70; HR Plan Apo 1.6x WD=24;
  • Camera: Nikon DS-Fi1

Andor Revolution DSD combined with JPK Nanowizard 3 – Combined fluorescence and atomic force microscopy;



  • Objectives: CF1 Plan Apo VC 60x/1.4 oil WD=0.13; Condenser T1-CELWD 0.3/OD75;
  • Cameras: Interline CCD Andor Clara, and Monochrome CCD ProgRes MFCool Jenoptik;


Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microsocpy (FLIM) – Inverted microscope platform


  • Lasers: Tsunami Spectra Physics femtoseconds laser; and Hamamatsu picoseconds laser
  • Cameras: Interline CCD Andor Clara, and Monochrome CCD ProgRes MFCool Jenoptik;
  • Fast electronics for Time Correlated Single Photon Counting (TCSPC) SPC130 Becker & Hickl
  • Suited filter sets for one photon and multiphoton excitation/detection modes
  • Gas/humidity and temperature control in incubator for live cell experiments
  • Anisotropy and Hanbury Brown Twiss detection schemes implemented as well as possibility to couple the output to a Streak detection system

Fluorometer Horiba FluoroMax-4 


Fluorescence lifetime, emission, excitation and anisotropy – ISS ChronosBH


Streak imaging Hamamatsu Universal Streak Camera


Dynamic light scattering Horiba SZ-100Z


Microplate reader Biotek SynergyTM H1


Spectral imaging ellipsometer AccurionNanofilm_ep4


Spectrophotometer Perkin Elmer Lambda 950 UV/Vis/NIR


Spectrophotometer Shimadzu UV-2550 UV/Vis


Spectroscopic ellipsometer J. A Woollam M200


Quartz crystal microbalance detector (QCM-D) Q-Sense E1


Fourier transformed infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) Bruker Vertex 80v


Flow cytometer and cell sorter BioRad S3e


Gel Imaging System Syngene G Box


For more information please contact:


Jana Nieder

Head of Department



Join us as the new facility manager of the Bioimaging and Nanophotonics corporate facility!

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