Professor William E. Moener of Stanford University, Stanford, California (Pictured), Stephen W. Hell of Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen, and German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany and Eric Betzig, Janelia Farm Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Ashburn, VA, won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry on Wednesday, October 8, 2014 for the development of super resolved microscopy. Image courtesy of Stanford University.
Two separate principles are rewarded. One enables the method stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy, developed by Stefan Hell in 2000. Two laser beams are utilized; one stimulates fluorescent molecules to glow, another cancels out all fluorescence except for that in a nanometre-sized volume. Scanning over the sample, nanometre for nanometre, yields an image with a resolution better than Abbe’s stipulated limit.