Stefan Hell is credited with having conceived and applied the first viable concept for breaking Abbe’s diffraction limit in a light-focusing microscope. He is a scientific member of the Max Planck Society and a director at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, Germany, where he currently leads the department of nanobiophotonics. Peter Anderson has interviewed Stefan Hell in the run-up to the LASER World of Photonics Congress (Munich, May 12-16, 2013).
- Breaking the Abbe diffraction limit is an incredible achievement. What led you to making that discovery?
- What is the advantage of being able to study processes in cells at this scale?
- What are the key features of STED microscopy/nanoscopy?
- What are the current limitations of STED microscopy/nanoscopy?
- How will nanoscopy change disease discovery, diagnosis, and drug development/efficacy?
- What is the key to successful collaboration in a multi-disciplinary research field?
- Where do you see the need for future development of optics and photonics components or devices?
- What do you see as research challenges in the field of biophotonics?
- Do you have any advice for young researchers as they begin their career?