This Virtual Special Issue will cover and explore fundamental, theoretical, and applicative aspects of non-fluorescence-based single-particle methods. Submit your manuscript by November 30, 2024.

Gradient-colored abstract image of an optical setup featuring lenses, mirrors, and a light path, resembling a beam-splitter and detector on a light-to-dark red background.

The Journal of Physical Chemistry C will publish a Virtual Special Issue (VSI) entitled "Photothermal and Non-Fluorescent Imaging in Microscopy and Spectroscopy." Researchers are encouraged to submit a manuscript describing their new and unpublished work by November 30, 2024.

Fluorescence-based single-molecule methods encounter a number of limitations, e.g., photostability, brightness and reduced number of the labels. For more than 20 years, researchers have striven to overcome these limitations by utilizing scattering-based and related non-fluorescent methods. Several variants of scattering-based and related detection have been demonstrated, including photothermal contrast, interferometric scattering (iSCAT), photo-acoustic microscopy, or the use of opto-mechanical devices. Interaction with heat and acoustic waves also opens new approaches for optical manipulation.

All these new developments herald a new era for the label-free detection, study and manipulation of single particles and single molecules. This VSI intends to cover and explore fundamental, theoretical, and applicative aspects of non-fluorescence-based single-particle methods.

Topics will primarily include, but are not limited to:

  • Photothermal microscopy
  • iSCAT microscopy
  • Photoacoustic microscopy
  • Thermoplasmonics
  • Photothermal manipulation
  • Single-particle/-molecule imaging without fluorescence contrast

Organizing Editors

Dr. Subhasis Adhikari, Guest Editor
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, United States

Prof. Dr. Frank Cichos, Guest Editor
Leipzig University, Germany

Prof. Dr. Michel Orrit, Guest Editor
Leiden University, The Netherlands

Submission Instructions

All submissions to The Journal of Physical Chemistry will be handled by JPC Senior Editors and peer-reviewed with the same standards and expectations applied to all other manuscripts submitted to the journal. To ensure an unbiased peer-review process, the journal asks that you do not indicate within your manuscript that the submission is intended for the VSI. If you do, your manuscript will be returned for correction. Instead, when you submit your manuscript, please state prominently in the cover letter for the submission that the paper is intended for the “Photothermal and Non-Fluorescent Imaging in Microscopy and Spectroscopy” VSI.

You can find a complete list of sections and other important information for authors in the The Journal of Physical Chemistry Author Guidelines.

As with all submissions to JPC, your manuscript for the VSI should represent a rigorous scientific report of original research. Manuscripts are expected to provide new physical insight and/or present new theoretical or computational methods of broad interest.

Contributing to this Virtual Special Issue

If you are unsure if your research is within the scope of this VSI or have other questions about submitting a manuscript to the journal, please email JPC C Deputy Editor Gregory Hartland’s office at

Open Access

There are diverse open-access options for publications in American Chemical Society journals. Please visit our Open Science Resource Center for more information.

Safety Information in Journal Articles

Including a clear, articulate safety summary statement in your research is vital to ensuring that others who reproduce or expand upon your work can prepare for significant hazards and conduct their own methods as safely as possible. Read more about crafting safety statements in our ACS Axial post series.

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