Super-Resolution Optical Fluctuation Bio-Imaging with Dual-Color Carbon Nanodots

Anna M. Chizhik, Simon Stein, Mariia O. Dekaliuk, Christopher Battle, Weixing Li, Anja Huss, Mitja Platen, Iwan Schaap, Ingo Gregor, Alexander P. Demchenko, Christoph F. Schmidt, Jörg Enderlein*, Alexey I. Chizhik

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

121 Citations (Scopus)


Success in super-resolution imaging relies on a proper choice of fluorescent probes. Here, we suggest novel easily produced and biocompatible nanoparticles-carbon nanodots-for super-resolution optical fluctuation bioimaging (SOFI). The particles revealed an intrinsic dual-color fluorescence, which corresponds to two subpopulations of particles of different electric charges. The neutral nanoparticles localize to cellular nuclei suggesting their potential use as an inexpensive, easily produced nucleus-specific label. The single particle study revealed that the carbon nanodots possess a unique hybrid combination of fluorescence properties exhibiting characteristics of both dye molecules and semiconductor nanocrystals. The results suggest that charge trapping and redistribution on the surface of the particles triggers their transitions between emissive and dark states. These findings open up new possibilities for the utilization of carbon nanodots in the various super-resolution microscopy methods based on stochastic optical switching.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-242
Number of pages6
JournalNano Letters
Issue number1
Early online date25 Nov 2015
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jan 2016


  • bioimaging
  • Carbon nanoparticles
  • multicolor imaging
  • single-molecule fluorescence
  • SOFI
  • super-resolution imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering


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