Collaboration of two research groups at CEITEC BUT brought a new imaging technique and a publication in prestigious journal

New imaging technique combining and using digital holographic microscopy and optical microscopy in near field was recently described and published in prestigious magazine Nanoscale by group of scientists from CEITEC BUT. New method allows to display phase contrast in nanometer scale closely to the surface of a sample. According to one of the authors of this research, Petr Dvořák from the research group Fabrication and Characteristics of Nanostructures, this finding is the first step in development of digital holography which would be placed on a single microchip. 

According to Petr Dvořák digital holography is nowadays used in both classical optics and microscopy to display low contrast materials and objects, for example cells. At CEITEC BUT this method is used for instance by the research group of Radim Chmelík to holographically display cancerous cells. “Benefit of this method is in the fact that besides displaying the intensity of light it can also display the phase of light. That is used in reconstruction of so called otic holograms, which are basically 3D reconstructions of image. Therefore, we can create 3D holograms of microscopic objects such as cells. And we use this holographic microscope,” described Petr Dvořák.

The issue according to Petr Dvořák is that when studying cells and other phase-shifting objects researchers need to study these objects in very thin layers. “The light from microscopes which travels through this thin layer is influenced by the examined object only in a small way. That is a classical problem of so called microscopy of far-field microscopy where light comes from “distance”, form the illuminating objective, and after passing the sample it continues to detection objective,” said Dvořák. 

In nanophotonics already exists optical microscopy in near field which is according to Petr Dvořák extremely sensitive to thin samples. This method is studied by CEITEC BUT research group led by Tomáš Šikola. Thanks to collaboration of Radim Chmelík´s and Tomáš Šikola´s group a research dealing with combination of digital holographic microscopy and optic microscopy in near field could be initiated. Findings of this research and possibilities of this new technique has been recently described in a new publication for the prestigious magazine Nanoscale. 


Dvořák, Petr & Kvapil, Michal & Bouchal, Petr & Édes, Zoltán & Šamořil, Tomáš & Hrtoň, Martin & Ligmajer, Filip & Křápek, Vlastimil & Sikola, Tomas. (2018). Near-field digital holography: a tool for plasmon phase imaging. Nanoscale. 10. 10.1039/C8NR07438K