Multiplane imaging and three dimensional nanoscale particle tracking in biological microscopy
A conventional microscope produces a sharp image from just a single object-plane. This is often a limitation, notably in cell biology. We present a microscope attachment which records sharp images from several object-planes simultaneously. The key concept is to introduce a distorted diffraction grating into the optical system, establishing an order-dependent focussing power in order to generate several images, each arising from a different object-plane. We exploit this multiplane imaging not just for bio-imaging but also for nano-particle tracking, achieving ~10 nm z position resolution by parameterising the images with an image sharpness metric.