Single-molecule microscopy accesses nanometer-scale information with a benchtop microscope, providing a platform to super-resolve fluorescence emission, position and dynamics, even in living cells! We are developing new single-molecule methods to answer fundamental, unanswered questions in nanotechnology and microbiology. I will discuss the methods, the analysis approaches1, and two applications of these direct, quantitative, and high-resolution approaches: (i) We are understanding how plasmonic metal nanoantennas reshape fluorescence from nearby dye molecules2, and (ii) We are measuring the protein interactions essential for metabolism in the human gut microbiome. Overall, our results achieve fundamental insight of relevance to human health and nanoscience, and our work offers algorithms that can be further applied to other problems in chemistry, physics and biology.
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