UW–Madison Scientists Develop Most Sensitive Way to Observe Single Molecules

The heart of this study is a fiber microcavity. Here, one can see a small concave depression in the surface of an optical fiber. The researchers used a microcavity with two concave mirrors, but this image of a single concave microcavity makes it easier to see the fiber mirror setup. (Photo by Carlos Saavedra/UW–Madison)

Scientists at the University of Wisconsin (UW)–Madison have developed the most sensitive method yet for detecting and profiling a single molecule — unlocking a new tool that holds potential for better understanding how the building blocks of matter interact with each other. The new method could have implications for pursuits as varied as drug discovery and the development of advanced materials.

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