Luminescent surfaces with tailored angular emission for compact dark-field imaging devices

Cécile A.C. Chazot, Sara Nagelberg, Christopher J. Rowlands, Maik R.J. Scherer, Igor Coropceanu, Kurt Broderick, Yunjo Kim, Moungi G. Bawendi, Peter T.C. So, Mathias Kolle*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Dark-field microscopy is a standard imaging technique widely employed in biology that provides high image contrast for a broad range of unstained specimens1. Unlike bright-field microscopy, it accentuates high spatial frequencies and can therefore be used to emphasize and resolve small features. However, the use of dark-field microscopy for reliable analysis of blood cells, bacteria, algae and other marine organisms often requires specialized, bulky microscope systems, as well as expensive additional components, such as dark-field-compatible objectives or condensers2,3. Here, we propose to simplify and downsize dark-field microscopy equipment by generating the high-angle illumination cone required for dark-field microscopy directly within the sample substrate. We introduce a luminescent photonic substrate with a controlled angular emission profile and demonstrate its ability to generate high-contrast dark-field images of micrometre-sized living organisms using standard optical microscopy equipment. This new type of substrate forms the basis for miniaturized lab-on-chip dark-field imaging devices that are compatible with simple and compact light microscopes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)310-315
Number of pages6
JournalNature Photonics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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