During the last four years, the Chipscope project has been focused on pursuing superresolution with a nanoLED array-based approach to microcopy. As a main result, electronically activated scanning transmission optical microscopes have been produced for the first time.
This new kind of lensless microscopes do not require any other component that the LED array, an optical detector and the satellite electronics, reducing its vertical dimensions drastically only to less than 1mm. The sample is placed directly on the LED array and scanned by turning each LED on and off one after the other, while a photodetector measures the light transmitted through the sample. This straightforward method of image formation, which not requires post-processing, simplifies the control electronics.
The microscopes are also compatible with microfluidics setups, thanks to the innovative cartridge design that can be assembled directly over the LED array avoiding any alignment procedure between the microchannel and the LED array.
The small dimensions and low-cost of the Chipscope microscopes make them ideal for applications where the size and weight matter, such as space exploration or in-field measurements, opening the door to carrying a microscope in your pocket connected to your smartphone.
The left image is the Mic4.2 microscope and, at the right side, the Chipscope Mic3 based on a 200 nm nanoLED array with integrated microfluidics.