We have developed a method of performing near-field fluorescence correlation spectroscopy via an array of planarized circular apertures of 50 nm diameter. This technique provides 1 μs and 60 nm resolution on proximal samples, including live cells, without incorporating a scanning probe or pulsed lasers or requiring penetration of the sample into the aperture. Millions of apertures are created in an array within a thin film of aluminum on a coverslip and planarized to achieve no height distinction between the apertures and the surrounding metal. Supported lipid bilayers and plasma membranes from live cells adhere to the top of this substrate. We performed fluorescence correlation spectroscopy to demonstrate the sub-diffractionlimited illumination with these devices.
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