Quantum Dot Triexciton Imaging with Three-Dimensional Subdiffraction Resolution

We describe a simple method that improves optical resolution in fluorescence microscopy approximately 1.7-fold in all three dimensions and can be implemented on any basic confocal scanning microscope. This approach is based on three-photon absorption of commercially available quantum dots generating a triple exciton (triexciton) and subsequent blue-shifted fluorescence emission following recombination of the triexciton. As a pure physical approach, the resolution enhancement is independent from the nanoenvironment and demonstrated to work in living cells.