Ultralow-Loss Substrate for Nanophotonic Dark-Field Microscopy

Thang Minh Nguyen, Yong Deok Cho, Ji Hyeok Huh, Hayun Ahn, Na Yeoun Kim, Kyung Hun Rho, Jaewon Lee, Min Kwon, Sung Hun Park, Chae Eon Kim, Kwangjin Kim, Young Seok Kim, Seungwoo Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


For the colloidal nanophotonic structures, a transmission electron microscope (TEM) grid has been widely used as a substrate of dark-field microscopy because a nanometer-scale feature can be effectively determined by TEM imaging following dark-field microscopic studies. However, an optically lossy carbon layer has been implemented in conventional TEM grids. A broadband scattering from the edges of the TEM grid further restricted an accessible signal-to-noise ratio. Herein, we demonstrate that the freely suspended, ultrathin, and wide-scale transparent nanomembrane can address such challenges. We developed a 1 mm by 600 μm scale and 20 nm thick poly(vinyl formal) nanomembrane, whose area is around 180 times wider than a conventional TEM grid, so that the possible broadband scattering at the edges of the grid was effectively excluded. Also, such nanomembranes can be formed without the assistance of carbon support; allowing us to achieve the highest signal-to-background ratio of scattering among other substrates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1546-1554
Number of pages9
JournalNano Letters
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Feb 22

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by NRF-2022M3H4A1A02074314 (future technology laboratory program) funded by the National Research Foundation of Korea, the KU-KIST School Project, and a Korea University grant. This work was also supported by the Basic Research Project (Grant No. 401C2905) funded by Korea Electronics Technology Institute. Y.C. is personally supported by the government scholarship funded by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2018-Global Ph.D. Fellowship Program).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 American Chemical Society.


  • Dark-field spectroscopy
  • Mie scattering
  • Nanoparticles
  • Nanophotonics
  • Plasmonics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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