CLF - Octopus


The OCTOPUS (Optics Clustered to OutPut Unique Solutions) imaging cluster offers a range of advanced imaging techniques including multidimensional single molecule microscopy, multiphoton, confocal microscopy and optical tweezers.


This is an advanced imaging facility containing a mixture of in house-built and commercial systems operating in partnership with its sister facility ULTRA. The variety of multicolour light sources in Octopus gives the flexibility to combine multiple beams, multiple colours and timing capabilities.‚Äč

A range of multicolour light sources give unprecedented flexibility to combine multiple beams, multiple colours, and timing capabilities. Octopus offers a range of imaging techniques including several modes of multidimensional single molecule microscopy (particle kinetics and dynamics in live cells via single particle tracking colocalisation, single particle FRET and single particle polarisation, and structure determination in fixed cells - at ~5 nm resolution via fluorescence localisation with photobleaching (FLimP)), super-resolution microscopy (STORM, PALM, SIM, STED), and confocal microscopy (FLIM, FRET, and multiphoton). Octopus also provides access to a Leica digital light sheet.

The modular nature of Octopus allows the development and exploitation of new advanced imaging techniques as they become available, to address grand challenges in the life sciences area.

The imaging science programme is supported with access to other techniques such as Optical Tweezers and access to the facilities of the ULTRA group. Biological laboratory facilities and expertise in sample preparation are in integral part of the Octopus activity.




Laser-based light source parameters

Ti-sapphire laser, supercontinuum, single wavelengths

Source type
fundamental output, 680-1300, SHG & THG
Beam shape
Linear Horizontal
Other polarisation
Vertical using waveplate
Pulse repetition rate
76 * 106 [Hz]
Special modes
Cavity dumper and pulse picker to reduce repetition rate
Marisa Martin-Fernandez
Stan Botchway
Andy Ward
  • Time-resolved studies
  • Fluorescence imaging
  • Medical application
  • Elastic scattering
  • Inelastic scattering
  • Other - Chemistry
Earth Sciences & Environment
  • Global change & Climate observation
  • Marine science/Oceanography
  • Other - Earth Sciences & Environment
  • Water sciences/Hydrology
Life Sciences & Biotech
  • Agriculture & Fisheries
  • Medicine
  • Molecular and cellular biology
  • Other - Life Sciences & Biotech
Material Sciences
  • Knowledge based multifunctional materials
  • Other - Physics
control/Data analysis
Control Software Type
  • Custom and comemrcial instruemnt drivers and data analysis
Data Output Type
  • Both meta data and fully analysed data
Data Output Format
  • standard including JPEG, TIFF, IMG, SIF
Softwares For Data Analysis
  • Custom and comemrcial instruemnt drivers and data analysis
Equipment That Can Be Brought By The User
Laptops, specialist instruments