Nobel Laureate in Chemistry Prof William E Moerner Shares Insights on the Development of Super-resolution Microscopy at HKUST

William E Moerner

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) hosted the 25th Anniversary Distinguished Speakers Series on 16 May, featuring Prof William E Moerner, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry 2014.

In his talk titled “The Story of Single Molecules: How Precise High-resolution Spectroscopy at Low Temperatures Led to Super-resolution Microscopy and Beyond”, Prof Moerner shared with the audience today’s development of super-resolution microscopy since the 1980s when the first optical detection and spectroscopy of a single molecule in the condensed phase was observed.

“Super-resolution microscopy has opened up a new frontier in which biological structures can be observed in fixed and live cells with resolutions down to 20-40 nm and below. Importantly, in spite of the current focus on super-resolution, even in the “conventional” low concentration, single-molecule tracking regime where the motions of individual biomolecules are recorded rather than the shapes of extended structures, much can still be learned about biology,” Prof Moerner said.

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