A multitude of samples is required to monitor and optimize the quality and reliability of quantitative measurements of (super-resolution) light microscopes. Here, we present a single sample to calibrate microscopes, align their laser beams and measure their point spread function (PSF) in 3D. The sample is composed of a refractive index matched colloidal crystal of silica beads with fluorescent and gold cores. The microscope can be calibrated in three dimensions using the periodicity of the crystal; the alignment of the laser beams can be checked using the reflection of the gold cores; and the PSF can be measured at multiple positions and depths using the fluorescent cores. It is demonstrated how this sample can be used to visualize and improve the quality of confocal and super-resolution images. The sample is adjustable to meet the requirements of different NA objectives and microscopy techniques and additionally can be used to evaluate refractive index mismatches as a function of depth quantitatively.
|Publication status||Published - 14 Oct 2020|