Extinction Suite Macro (v4.1.5) for ImageJ (2011-2021)

Written by Lukas Payne (LP)



The extinction technique is described in the publication and in the thesis by Lukas Payne listed below. Further down is the thesis of Attilio Zilli describing the development of the scaling parameters.

  1. PayneAPL13 Polarization-resolved extinction and scattering cross-sections of individual gold nanoparticles measured by wide-field microscopy on a large ensemble
    Lukas M. Payne, Wolfgang Langbein, and Paola Borri
    Appl. Phys. Lett. 102, 131107 (2013) DOI 10.1063/1.4800564
  2. PaynePhD15 Optical extinction and coherent multiphoton micro-spectroscopy of single nanoparticles
    Lukas M Payne, 2015, PhD Thesis, Cardiff University. http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/87182
  3. PaynePRAP18 Wide-Field Imaging of Single-Nanoparticle Extinction with Sub-nm2 Sensitivity
    Lukas M. Payne, Wolfgang Langbein, Paola Borri
    Physical Review Applied 9, 034006 (2018)  DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevApplied.9.034006
  4. PayneSPIE19 Quantitative high-throughput optical sizing of individual colloidal nanoparticles by wide-field imaging extinction microscopy
    Lukas M. Payne, Attilio Zilli, Yisu Wang, Wolfgang Langbein, Paola Borri.
    Proceedings of SPIE, SPIE BIOS, 2019, San Francisco, CA, U.S.A. DOI: 10.1117/12.2507632
  5. ZilliPhD18 Measuring and modelling the absolute optical cross-sections of individual nano-objects
    Attilio Zilli, 2018. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University. http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/109908
  6. PaynePRAP18 Wide-field imaging of single nanoparticle extinction with sub-nm2 sensitivity
    L.M. Payne, W. Langbein, and P. Borri
    Phys. Rev. Appl. 9, 034006 (2018) DOI 10.1103/PhysRevApplied.9.034006
  7. PayneNS20 The optical nanosizer - quantitative size and shape analysis of individual nanoparticles by high-throughput widefield extinction microscopy
    L.M. Payne, W. Albrecht, W. Langbein, and P. Borri
    Nanoscale 12, 16215 (2020), DOI 10.1039/D0NR03504A
  8. PayneJCP21 Quantitative morphometric analysis of single gold nanoparticles by optical extinction microscopy: Material permittivity and surface damping effects
    L.M. Payne,  F. Masia,  A. Zilli, W. Albrecht, P. Borri, W. Langbein
    J. Chem. Phys. 154, 044702 (2021), DOI 10.1063/5.0031012

Please cite the PayneAPL13 when using the suite.

Present Version

Older Versions


The Extinction Suite Macro was developed with the specific intention of analyzing images of nanoparticles fixed in a field of view.  It currently supports development and/or analysis of extinction images, extinction + darkfield images, or darkfield images over any number of color channels, and user ranking of spectral channels/filter ranges in order to filter particles spectrally for a given spectral dependence of the extinction/scattering. The Macro now requires an installation of ImageJ (or Fiji) v1.53g or higher. Note that in the Fiji implementation of ImageJ, the Fiji updater and ImageJ updater are different. To make sure the Fiji implementation is running using the latest ImageJ version, go to Help->Update ImageJ.

To use this program with Canon RAW files the DCRaw Reader plugin has to be installed.  The program has both unpolarized and polarized processing modes.  There are four processing modules of the macro and a mapping module which creates the required folder mapping if the user records images in the typical fashion (the special case of stage-camera synchronous recording is discussed below in Extinction Module).


Please install ImageJ or Fiji following the instructions for your system found here (ImageJ) or here (Fiji).
The DCRAW plugin can be found here along with instructions, information etc.

One way to install Extinction Suite is to first extract the .ijm file from the downloadable .zip above to any location of your choice. Then open ImageJ or Fiji, click the "Plugins" drop-down menu and select "Install Plugin."  You will be prompted to find/select the plugin on your computer to install.  Once installed it will be available directly from the Plugins drop-down menu.  However, I have encountered problems with this, where it does not remain permanently installed.  If you find that happens please proceed with the next instruction.

Actually the simplest way to install the plugin is to extract the content of the .zip file directly to the plugins folder of your installation of ImageJ or Fiji (Fiji.app). However, this requires you to find the plugins folder for your case:

(ImageJ) find the "plugins" folder inside the ImageJ application folder (mac: in "Applications" folder, PC: in "Program Files").  Simply place the plugin in this folder.  Or if you prefer it be within the "Macros" portion of the Plugins drop-down menu, then within the plugins folder is a "Macros" folder.  Simply copy the Extinction macro to this folder.  It will then appear in the drop-down menu via Plugins->Macros->Extinction Suite vx.x.x.

(Fiji) the operation is similar, however you will need to add an underscore "_" to the end of the "Macros" folder if you wish to use it instead of the Plugins folder.  The "Macros" folder contents will then be available through the plugins drop-down menu.  A note on Mac with Fiji:  if you browse to the Application folder in search of the Fiji application folder and you only find an icon, simply control-click or two-finger click Fiji and select "Show Package Contents."  You will then find the Fiji application contents.


After starting the Macro in ImageJ it prompts the user to close any images in ImageJ previously opened. Close any open images and click "ok". Initial optionsIt then prompts the user to select the processing mode, as unpolarized or polarized (see panel shown to the right), and to select the desired operation to execute.  There are two operations available: run the Extinction Suite, or run the folder mapping module.

Mapping Module: Extinction Suite Folder Tree

The mapping module creates the folder structure required by the main Extinction Suite modules. It does not need to be run if you are using stage-camera synchronous recording (see below). This module is meant to support experimenters. Firstly, it provides the structure which will be directly needed in order to proceed with the extinction image development from raw acquired data. Secondly, by immediately saving data into the appropriate folders during experimentation, users can develop extinction images for their present experiment "on-the-fly," allowing for nearly-real-time evaluation of areas of interest. It is in experimenters' best interest to make full use of this possibility.

The module  will ask the user for a name (e.g. the date "2015_01_01", Mapping
          optionssee image at right), and create a folder of this name, which will serve as base folder for the experiment and analysis.  The mapping of folders within the base folder differs depending on the image data and processing mode for unpolarized or polarized processing, whether or not extinction, extinction + darkfield, or darkfield images are included, whether or not sensor offset (background) images were taken at darkfield exposure settings, and what kind of images will be recorded (M-channel greyscale images, RAW, RGB, M-Channel Color).  The latter option determines what code path the converter and averaging modules will need to follow.  In the unpolarized case, within the base folder the program will always create reference (R) and background (BG) folders, while focus (F), dark-field (DF), and dark-field background (DFBG), will be included depending on your choice above.  These folders have to contain the respective images from your camera, regardless of image type.

In case of single greyscale or composite input images, acquired images should be saved directly to the appropriate location, i.e. the F, R, BG, DF, or DFBG folders.  Running the main Extinction Modules, any images saved within these folders will be moved into newly created subfolders named "RAW".

In case of multichannel data acquired via separate filters, select "M-channel Greyscale images". Here, separate greycale images or image stacks are required, with at least one per channel per data type (F, R, etc.). Note, whether or not the images are single files or stacks must be specified by the user (see Input Image Options panel below) when running the main modules of the suite. Stacks are recommended when possible. An additional dialogue requests information on how many color channels to use, and the names of the channels. For example "400," "500," and "600," indicating the center wavelength in nanometers of the spectral range of the filter. The names must be given comma-separated without spaces, so "400,500,600" in the example. It is helpful if the names give the spectral information which will be needed later on in the analysis section. Folders with names given by the channels will be created in the R, BG, F, DF, and DFBG folders. Acquired images should be saved directly into their respective type and channel folders. For example, say a set of 256 images were acquired as "focus" images at 500nm. The images are subsequently saved as a stack, e.g. called "001.tif" or "F_001.tif" in the location "BaseFolder/F/500/". Note, that there is not an explicit restriction on the number of stacks that can be saved in each folder. For example, say 2 sets of 128 images were acquired as "focus" images at 500nm.  The two sets of images can be saved as two separate tiff stacks, e.g. called "F_001.tif" and "F_002.tif", but must both be saved in the location "BaseFolder/F/500/". The end result will be the same as saving a single stack of 256 images. This possibility allows for more complex referencing to be performed. For instance one can first acquire and save 50% of the total focus images, then acquire and save 100% of the reference images, then acquire and save the remaining 50% of the total focus images. This is an example of time-symmetric referencing and helps decrease the effect of systematic drifts, e.g. lamp intensity/temperature, etc.

In case of multipolarization data ("Polarized" in option "Choose Image Processing and Analysis Mode" seen above in the "Extinction Suite Mode Selection" panel), the mapping is based upon the polarization range of captured images (e.g. 0˚-180˚), and the step size, in degrees.  An additional dialogue requests the intial angle, final angle and angle step size as integers. For each polarization angle, a subfolder named as the angle value is created in the base folder. For example for the angle range 0, 180, 60 , the subfolders 0, 60, 120, 180 are created. Each of these contain the R, F, and DF folders. The BG and DFBG folders stay in the base folder as the background is independent of polarization.  Folders related to the color channel will be created in each of the available F, R, DF, BG, and DFBG folders, if the user requires the M-channel greyscale option, but not image conversion. Again, acquired images should be saved directly into their respective polariser angle, data type, and channel folders. For example, say a set of 256 images were acquired as "focus" images at 500nm and \(0^\circ\). These data are subsequently saved as a stack, e.g. called "F_500_000_001.tif" or "001.tif", in the location "BaseFolder/000/F/500/". As in the unpolarized case for M-channel grayscale images, multiple images or image stacks taken for the same optical settings can be saved to the same folder location to be processed together.

Note: the mapping module should be used prior to acquiring the images, so that one can save acquired images directly in the appropriate folders.

The folder structure is summarized in the table below

Unpolarized Analysis

Polarized Analysis

  • Base Folder
    • F
      • e.g. 600 or R (if using color data w/out conversion)
      • e.g. 500 or G (...)
      • e.g. 400 or B (...)
    • D
      • ...
    • DF (if selected)
      • ...
    • BG
      • ...
    • DFBG (if selected)
      • ...
  • Base Folder
    • First angle e.g. 0
      • F
        • e.g. 600 or R (if using color data w/out conversion)
        • e.g. 500 or G (...)
        • e.g. 400 or B (...)
        • ...
      • D
        • ...
      • DF (if selected)
        • ...
    • Second angle, e.g. 60
      • ...
    • ...
    • ...
    • BG
        • ...
    • DFBG (if selected)
        • ...

To run the module,  choose "Run Folder Mapping Module" from the operating mode drop-down menu (see Extinction Suite panel).

Main Extinction Suite Modules:Module Options

Choose "Run Extinction Suite" from the operating mode drop-down menu (see Extinction Suite Panel) to run the main modules of Extinction suite.  Ensure that you have captured all data required for analysis (see Summary of Images to be taken) and saved them in the correct folders in the folder structure discussed above.

You will be prompted to select which modules may be run, see the panel at the right.  The modules can be run individually, or in various combinations. Some require that the folder structure contains the results of other modules.  For instance, the Particle Analysis requires that the results of the Extinction Analysis.

After selecting ok, a dialogue requests a folder to be used as the Base Folder for the analysis.Polarizer
          Angle Information

If the user initially selected "Polarized" from the initial options panel (seen above in Initialization), at this point they will be asked to define the first and final positions of the polarizer in degrees, and the angle step size, as seen in panel at right.

After selecting ok,  a panel requests the main characteristics of the data to be analysed.  The content depends on the module selection.  The example panel, seen at right, assumes that a converter or averager modules are selected. 

  1. Format of the captured images.  Selecting the format allows that the folders contain files other than those to be analyzed, for instance ".rec" or ".txt" files containing camera and image information recorded along with the image.  Any native formats of ImageJ, and any of the consumer RAW formats listed on the Wikipedia Raw Image Formats page are recognized.
  2. Measurement type (M-channel greyscale, RAW, RGB, or M-channel color). 
  3. Choose between single image or multi-image stack files. (Instructions are given in the panel)
  4. Select to analyse extinction, darkfield + extinction, or darkfield images.
  5. Enter comma-separated (no spaces) nominal center wavelengths as integers of the spectral ranges used in your experiment. It does not matter if there was only one dataset for one color channel (spectral range) taken or if the image is RGB, you must enter at least one value here.
  6. Method of darkfield background. The options are (A) no darkfield background reduction (B) subtraction of DFBG images (C) subtraction of a numerical offset.(Instructions are given in the panel)

Converter Module: Conversion and RGB image channel splitting

This module is intended to convert RAW files, such as Canon .CR2, to files usable by ImageJ, such as TIFF or JPEG. It can more generally be used also as a batch converter between image formats.  The RAW files are opened with the DCRAW reader plugin into 16-bit linear format for quantitative analysis.  For a detailed list of the image formats, which can be opened using DCRAW reader, please see the DCRAW homepage (toward the bottom).

The user selects which of the F, R, BG, etc. folders will be considered for conversionImage
          Set Options in the panel shown. ImageJ will determine the number of files in the folder, and collect filenames from the folder in alphabetic order. The averaging module, if selected, will create an additional input panel.

Next, if you are running only the converter module and using colour images, you will be asked in the panel as shown if you want to split the colour channels. splitter
          option If yes, the split images will be created in subfolders called "R","G", and "B" in each of the parent folders. If you selected the averager module splitting is done by default.  

Next you will be asked if you used the mapping module to create your folder tree.  If yes, the program will use the related folder names.  Folder
          title inputIf not, you will be asked to provide the title of the base folder and the sub-folders in a panel as shown. 

Next, if you run in "polarized" mode, you will be prompted to input the Initial angle (0 default), final angle (150 default), and angle step size (30 default), all integer, in degrees.

Next you will be asked in the panel shown for the destination format and the range of images to convert, defined by the initial image number, and the number of  images. Converter
        optionsBy default the range is set to use all images in the folders. The initial image and number of images to convert can be different between the different kinds of images, i.e. Focus, Defocus, etc.  In polarized mode, the starting image and number of images must be the same for all polarizations of a given image kind.  The panel shown refers to only focus selected, in general these options are listed for each image kind selected.

After this selection, the conversion will start. If RGB splitting is chosen, the split images are stored in the R, G, and B subfolders.  If splitting is not chosen, or not possible, the converted images will be created in a folder named "converted."

Averager Module: Image averaging

This module produces averaged images of all image files in each subfolder; You are also given the option to create an RGB merged average image, from the images in the R,G,B sub-folders assuming an intially RGB or RAW image. The averaged images are stored in a subfolder "Averages", with a identical R G B folder structure, assuming a color image as input.  If M-channel greyscale images are averaged, then M averages are created in the "Averages" folder for each of the image kind folders.

In the option panels for the averaging modules (similar to the one seen above for the conversion options), you will find a checkbox option for deletion of individual converted channel files.  Check this if you want to delete the converted files, hence saving space by keeping only the averaged, and original, images.

You may use this module individually, in which case you will be prompted to provide the folder names and the image format, as in the converter module.

Extinction Module: Calculation of Extinction Image and Dark-Field Image Preparation

This module assumes a folder structure as created by the averaging module. It creates a folder in the base folder called "Extinction" into which the processed images are saved.

Extinction and darkfield options

In the panel at right, the main options of the extinction module can be seen. Image Type specifies the format of the data, i.e. "M-channel Grayscale", "RAW", "RGB", "M-channel Color", or "Stage-camera synchronized continuous recording", which indicates to the software what folder structure it should look for. Experiment type can be "Extinction", "Extinction + Darkfield", or "Darkfield". Color channel center wavelengths should be entered as comma-separated values, no spaces, in the order the experiment was performed.  The final option defines how the darkfield background should bee accounted for, including that it should not be corrected. The latter should be used when no darkfield data is present, and is the default option.

Stage-camera synchronous optionThis module can be run separately. The script will search the folders for the files to use. If no "Averages" exists, it will look for "Converted". If no "Converted" exists, it will look for folders matching the channel names earlier provided for the image kinds, from which to take images. Failing that it will look for the same number of images as the expected number of color channels directly in the image kind folders. This is handy for "Extinction" image processing.

Stage-camera synchronous recording

Available when neither converter nor averager are selected to run. For experiments where stage and camera were synchronously triggered. This is used for an improved version of shifted referencing (discussed below), which reduces noise in the imaging arising due to longterm fluctuations in the intensity or sensor. The sample position is rapidly switched between two positions (shifts are typically \(\ge2Ri\), discussed below). The camera records continuously with images triggered via the MultiCARS software & electronics also running the stage. After a preset number of images taken at one position, the sample is moved with the camera still recording. After a preset number of images at the second position, the operation repeats. In our experimental setup, the sample position moves in a rasterscan format without movement orthogonal to the scan direction. In the example of a shift entirely in the x-direction, the sample remains on the same vertical line. Hence, one repetition is composed of positions x1, x2, x2 , x1, with n repetions. This is important, as in order to process these into extinction images with the correct ordering, we must know how many images are taken at each position, and how many repetitions there are per channel. In this version of the code, we assume a p1, p2, p2, p1 format of the repetitions. Therefore, for 4 repetitions of the scan with Stage-camera synchronous settings128 images taken per position, with the total number of brightfield acquisitions given by (4*128)*4=2048. Note, that this is not the number of saved images. It is assumed the experimenter will typically use online averaging (where possible) of images to reduce the data storage cost, and that the averaging will be equivalent to the number of acquistions per position. Hence, in this example, assuming averaging of 128 acquisitions, there should be 16 saved images. The user must indicate the number of repetitions and the number of images averaged at each position. Synchronous stage-camera single stack recording is flexible, and can be expanded not just to take many repetitions of shifted referencing, but also switching of color filter, or polarizer angle. The user can indicate if this was done in the second panel (see right). The options are to record as a single stack experiment per polarizer per color channel (or vice versa), multiple stacks where each stack is a single recording over polarizer angles, and with each stack associated with a different color channel (or vice versa), and lastly, multiple stacks where each stack corresponds to one channel and one polarizer angle.

Files should be saved into a single base folder, named how the user sees fit. Do not use the standard folder mapping. Files can be titled however the user chooses in order to indicate background (e.g. BG), or brightfield (e.g. bright), but if there are multiple stacks, then the files must be titled with suffixes pertaining to the separation of stacks. For instance, if there are 3 channels (450, 500, 550), and 1 stack per channel, then the user should label the brightfield stacks, (e.g.) bright_450, bright_500, and bright_550. Or if there are 6 polarizer angles with 30 degree steps starting from 0 degrees and one only channel, then the titles should be bright_000, bright_030, ... etc. For multiple stacks with one stack per angle per color, a double suffix should be used, e.g. bright_450_000.

Background images need not be taken in the exact numbers as the brightfield (darkfield) images. One background image per color channel is required in order to account for the potentially different exposure times.  The background for each color channel can be saved as a stack or can be pre-averaged by the user and saved as a single image. In our current setup, it is not possible to have different exposure times during a single recording, so in this particular instance, you would only need one background stack (or pre-averaged image) if you use single stack recording over color, or single color and multiple stack polarization recording. The single background stacks or pre-averaged images in these cases can be copied and pasted into the same folder with the appropriate suffixes added. Note, background stacks will be averaged and subtracted as single images from the brightfield or darkfield stacks, if the user did not pre-average. Note that darkfield stacks can be recorded in similar fashion using this continuous method, but without stage motion. For more on the shifted reference technique see [PaynePRAP18]. Background images should be saved with the same nomenclature as their brightfield counterparts (see paragraph above), and in the same base folder location.

If no images are present in the offset folder identifier in the prompt, a panel will request a constant value to be used as background.

Note, for this method any acquired images including background images, saved with the appropriate nomenclature as seen above, can all be saved in the base folder. This compact save format was chosen to compliment the compactness of this particular experimental method. In-experiment, more rapid data acquisition, and less navigation when saving images, decreasing time and focus cost for the experimenter, as well as decreasing risk of saving files in the wrong location. Hence, this method is particularly handy when wanting to develop extinction images and examine areas of interest on the fly during experiments.

Analysis Module: Particle analysis from Extinction Images and Dark-Field Images

(A) Preliminary Options and Image Registration

This is a section with more significant input from the user, however it has been streamlined and significantly improved from earlier versions, reducing user input.  The macro uses ImageJ's built-in Panel
          analysis options"Find Maxima" function to locate the positions of the nanoparticles in the images.  In order to do this it must be thresholded appropriately above the image noise.  You will be prompted to choose the analysis options after choosing a base directory if you did not already do this for other modules.

If you run only the analysis module (having perhaps previously prepared the extinction images), you will see the dialogue at right, the first option is to specify color channels, again by center wavelength of spectral ranges. Only in the case of the extinction and analysis modules the entries MUST be integers representative of wavelengths in units of nm in the visible range (again comma-separated no spaces).

The next option is quite important and serves as a general method for spectral-filtering the results to select particles based on spectral properties.

The color channels are ranked using positive integers, with any two channels of different rank required to have a lower cross-section in the higher rank channel. The lowest rank image (minimum, 1) will be used to find maxima, and as the general reference image throughout the analysis process. For example, for channels (450nm, 500nm, 550nm), to filter results based on the requirement that the cross-section, sigma, have the spectral property sigma(450nm)>sigma(500nm) AND sigma(450nm)>sigma(550nm), the ranks (1,2,2) would work. To apply no spectral filter, choose ranks  (1,1,1). Ranks must be input comma-separated, no spaces. In the case of the polarized analysis, the ranks are applied to the polarization-averaged cross-section in each channel.

The next input is the total number of brightfield images taken per channel. They are used to calculate the relative noise of pixels in the image employed in the automated peak finding for the shifted reference and drift calculations later. Again, entries are listed in the order of the color channels, comma-separated, no spaces. Note, that the total number of brightfield images refers to the total number of Focus AND Reference, inclusive of any averaging by the camera prior to saving. Hence, if you averaged 128 Focus images, and 128 Reference images and repeated this n times, the total number would be 2 x 128 x n. This option will not appear if you have run the extinction module immediately prior, as the values are defined in there.

If the analysis module is the only one selected, the analysis route ("Extinction, "Extinction + Darkfield", "Darkfield") is also requested. This will slightly alter options offered as the script progresses.

The next option allows choice of two local background subtraction methods, namely double radius, or shifted reference method. Your choice here only applies to extinction images; the double radius is always used when making measurments of scattering cross-sections in darkfield. If double radius is chosen, for extinction, the selection is based on your choice of experimental acquisition of the reference image. In the publication, we use only the 'defocus' reference method.  However, for high-sensitivity experiments, it may be more suitable to use a 'shifted' reference method.  In this case, the reference images are stored, named, and used exactly as the 'defocus' (reference) images would be by the program.  The difference is in acquisition during the measurement period.  If you choose to use the shifted reference method, rather than defocussing of the sample, please shift the sample laterally, via stage controls, by a known amount of pixels.  The shift can be in the x or  y directions, or in a combination of the x and y directions. This shift will be automatically detected by the software and provided to the user for optional adjustment; this will be discussed further below.

The next option is the proximity restriction, removing particles with a distance smaller than n*Ri. It defaults to n=2 required to fit the Ri regions of the two particles. It can be adjusted if required, for example if the data were taken for the shifted reference method with too small a shift.

The number of randomly chosen background points is next to be adjusted. Any integer can be input, but typically this is kept high for good statistical rigor.

The next 4 values are parameters of the optical setup: the numerical aperture (NA), magnification (M), sensor pixel size (in micrometers), and the full well capacity.

A checkbox is provided to enable time-series analysis of extinction time-points. Note that data need not be actual extinction data, but can be, for instance, fluorescence data. (see section E below).

A checkbox is provided to enable Gaussian fitting of the peak coordinates of all chosen particles, for improved measurement accuracy. Fitting of coordinates is only performed after filtering by proximity, cross-sectional range and the rank system discussed above.

Calibrate the particle measurement radius (Ri)

To determine the optimum Ri, run the calibration.  The extinction image corresponding to the lowest rank channel will be displayed. You will be prompted to locate a well isolated particle, and to zoom in using the ImageJ toolbar.  Place the cursor on the center of the particle and then note the X & Y coordinates shown in the ImageJ toolbar.  Click "Ok" to close the prompt.  Enter the X&Y values in the next prompt amd choose the maximum value of Ri over which to measure the cross-section (default 100).  A plot of extinction cross-section versus measurement radius, Ri, is then calculated and displayed. Inspect the plot and record the radius at which the extinction cross-section saturates.  This is your optimum Ri. Close the plot. Typically, the saturation value foe matched NA of objective and condenser 3 lambda / (2NA). We have recently published a work which suggests this is a good nominal value. Without running this calibration, the program will use this formula as  default the Ri for each center wavelength. For more on the measurement radius see [PaynePRAP18, PayneSPIE19]. In the Nikon Ti-U microscope stand with the Canon D-40 camera on the left port with the sensor in the intermediate image plane, the optimum measurement radius (3 lambda / (2NA)) is given by Ri=0.135 pixels*magnification*tube multiplier/numerical aperture. For 0.95NA 40x magnification with a 1.5x tube multiplier we find Ri=8.5 pixels. In order to reduce noise for small particles, one can choose a smaller Ri of  3 lambda / (4NA), which captures still about 80% of the extinction, and post-correct the result to represent 100%. 

Additional options (for darkfield and polarization-resolved cases)

Additional options are provided to the user after the initial dialogue.Radii inputs

Via the tick box seen in the panel, one can choose whether or not to scale the measurements in units of area, effectively determining whether the output results are integrated pixel values or cross-sectional values. This is a useful option for instance when examining fluorescence data, which can be treated in the software identically to extinction or darkfield data. Extinction and scattering results would be typically be scaled, while fluorescence would be unscaled.

If darkfield images are to be analysed, the scaling parameters, tau, zeta, and eta are offered as inputs. The defaults are tau=1, zeta=1, and eta=1, meaning the scattering results are unscaled. We have the open-ended outlook that a code will be written to calculate these parameters in the general dipole case.  Please see the above publications for more information; in particular [ZilliPhD18]. 

The measurement radius, Ri will be calculated for each color entered previously. These calculated values will be provided as default. If the double radius local background subtraction was selected, the double radius for each color channel is also offered as input in this panel, and defaulted to 2Ri.

Using the double radius method, a particle must be spaced at least 3 Ri from any other particle or debris, in order to avoid overlap of the particle's local BG measurement between Ri and 2Ri with the measurement region of radius Ri of other particles.  However, there might be other debris in the BG region, or we would like to measure particles which are closer to each other. To enable this, we can remove pixels in the BG region which are outliers. In detail, we call the mean pixel value of the BG region \(\Sigma\), and their standard deviation σ\sigma (called "sigma" in the user prompt). We then exclude any pixel with a value more that Nσ distance fromΣtext{P}\ni[\Sigma-N\,\sigma,\Sigma+N\,\sigma]. This is performed recursively, until no additional pixels are excluded. N is  requested in the "Additional analysis option" panel (at right) when the defocus reference method is chosen, and defaults to 2.  In this way, we exclude points in the BG ring, attributable to nearby particles/debris, so that a particle distance of 2 Ri can be accurately analyzed, allowing for increased particle density.  If more than 50% of the datapoints of the BG ring are removed by this procedure, the particle is excluded from analysis. Choosing a large N, say 1000, is effectively disabling the filter, if required.

(B) Maxima finding,  shifted-reference and drift automatic-registrationReference
          shift options

The shifted reference method results in the two appearances of the same physical particle in the field of view of the extinction image. The user will be prompted with two panels regarding the magnitude (and direction) of the reference shift.


You will be asked to choose a regional ROI format and size. The options for ROI shape are "Rectangle," or "Oval." Once selected, you can adjust the ROI to desired dimensions. This can be used for example to exclude regions where optical aberrations are apparent.

A screenshot after confirming the ROI shape and dimensions is shown on the right.  The prompt provides explicit instructions.  You start the "Find
          Maxima introductionFind Maxima" protocol found in the ImageJ Menu Bar->Process->Find Maxima.  Since the extinction images are normalized images, the threshold should correspond to the relative intensity noise in the image, so in this example 0.0165.  You can preview the number of maxima without running the protocol (seen below). Do NOT actually run the protocol, and do NOT press 'ok' on the above prompt until you have completed its instructions. Brightness/contrast adjustment might be necessary to evaluate the maxima which were found. A small fraction of maxima which do not correspond to nanoparticles is acceptable.  It is important to choose the threshold close to the noise since the background points used to determine the measurement noise are taken outside a given radius around the maxima.  After making notation of the required noise tolerance, close the prompt, leaving the extinction images as they are. This Screenshot
          Find maximaoperation is performed separately for extinction and darkfield images.

If you analyze dark-field images and extinction images, analyze polarization-resolved images, analyze images for different spectral filters, or any combination of these experimental methods, it is common to see small transverse shifts in the field of view due to drift or movement due to switching from brightfield to darkfield, due to the rotation of the polarizer, or due to filter switching.  An image registration (2D shift) can be applied to match the positions of the maxima between each of the different cases. The registration proceeds automatically via the same sub-routine as the shift-registration. The algorithm used to register the images is based on pattern recognition, specifically for N peaks found in an image, there are N(N-1)/2 unique peak-pairs characterizing these N peaks. Currently, the algorithm will initially search a small central area of the image for N=9 peaks, and increase the search area in the image either until it has found N=9 peaks (36 pairs), or until it has reached the frame limits. It does this for each image and then, roughly speaking, it compares each image to the first to try to find as many matching pairs as possible. The shift is determined as the mean distance (with sign indicating direction) between the midpoints of the matching pairs of the two images. When it cannot find any matching pairs, it will locate the two closest peaks between the image to be registered and the initial image, and determine the shift as the distance between these two. When it cannot find any peaks in the images it will determine the shift as zero in x and y. In both these instances, the user is given the option to choose the shift manually.
In contrast to the shift determination, the drift registration proceeds over potentially very different images and can be susceptible to small issues raised by the automated peak finding. This will likely not be a problem, however is largely untested in darkfield. In general, you can assume it has worked if the shifts seen in the panel to the right are small, or consistently increasing. Sudden very large shifts (>30 pixels) instead indicate errors in registration. To correct these, you can change the noise tolerance to be more in line with the one you established above. You can also adjust the "shift tolerance" (default=0.5). These options are available after an initial attempt by the software at registration if you choose to re-register. Increasing the tolerancPanel drift
          registratione can allow for some flex to the pattern recognition. Decreasing the tolerance increases the rigor of the pattern recognition. In the example of the panel, shifts in the x-direction are smaller than 4 pixels in total over the 18 image (3 channels x 6 angles) dataset, while y-direction shifts are less than 3 pixels in total. Notice that shifts between angles for a given channel (images 1-6, 7-12, 13-18) total less than 0.5 pixels, while the shift observed when changing between channels (6-7, 12-13) can be 1-2 pixels. Typical drifts are in the order of 1 pixel per minute. We've seen up to a 25 pixel shift between the intial and final extinction images over a 19 polarizer angle experiment.

The exit code of the registration is output with the shift (see panel) for the examination of the user before moving on from the registration. The exit code corresponds to the number of pairs used to register that image to the 1st image in the set. For instance, if only one pair is used, the exit code is 1. If no matching pairs can be found, the shift between the two closest single peaks is provided. In this case the error code is 0.5. If no individual peaks are found to register, the shift is taken to be (0,0). The error code in this case is 0. 

(C) Calibration Extinction calibration histogram

Next, the module will filter the maxima which have a measured cross-section falling within a user-selected range. The user selects this range by examining the histogram of all particle cross-sections measured, where particle locations correspond to those found by the find maxima function previously.  The histogram appears along with a dialogue for the user. The histogram presents the both the unfiltered particle data as well as the measurement noise for the same color channel. The presented values are averaged over all  polarizations. The lowest ranked channel is the one used for this data display. Likewise the color of the signal data (in panel example here blue), corresponds to the wavelength of this channel. A subroutine uses a custom color gamut to transfer integer values of wavelength in the ~visible range (380nm-800nm) to a hexadecimal color code. The dialogue offers the possibility to re-display the sCalibration histogram redisplayame data with updated binning. If you accept the binning (choose not to redisplay histogram via "No" option), you will be provided with one more dialogue in which to input the desired cross-sectional range. Particles with cross-sections falling inside this range will be accepted. Unfiltered particle data as well as this histogram will be saved in the "Results" folder. Particles which fall within thiscalibration range range will be further filtered by the rank requirements discussed above.

(C) Output Data


Analysis Metadata is printed in the ImageJ Output Log and contains all user inputs to the particle analysis. It is saved in the base directory at the completion of analysis.

The final data will be saved in the form of excel files and histograms, produced by custom scripting of ImageJ's plotting capabilities.  The histograms are savedExample of
          saved data as .png images.  A screenshot of a portion of the BG dataset that would be output using the double radius method (specified at the top of each column as DR-...) is shown.  The actual particle data is similarly presented.  The data-type is given in the 1st column ( datapoint, mean, or standard deviation).  The x and y coordinates of the BG points where the measurements were taken are given in the 3rd and 4th columns.  Notice that the BG measurements are given in the form of a cross section and were measured with the same radius, Ri, as the particles were.  To the right of the viewable region of that dataset would be the scattering, similarly arranged. The amount of resulting data will be accordingly large, particularly in the polarized case.  Histograms are provided for each color channel.  They show the distribution of cross-sections of the BG and of the nanoparticles.  Lastly, an extinction image is saved, where each particle is labeled with its corresponding number on the excel spreadsheet, making it easy to cross-reference the data with the actual image. Polarization-averaged (or unpolarized data) is saved either in the "Results" directory if in unpolarized mode, or in the "RawStatistics" subfolder of "Results" if in polarized mode.


In polarized mode, similar histograms are output also for each color channel and each polarizer angle in a subfolder of the "Results" folder called "PolarizationDependentFits," along with polarization-dependence of the cross-section along with the fit of this dependence (see paper), per particle per channel. This data is saved as an excel spreadsheet in this same folder.
To simulate the noise in the measurement, a Monto-Carlo approach is used. Adding to the data a random value from a gaussian distribution of standard deviation given by the measurement noise, and refitting a user-chosen number of times. In the subfolder of "Results" called "FitStatistics" an excel spreadsheet of all parameters of all simulated fits per particle per channel as well as histograms of each of the particle's simulated fit parameters are provided. Additionally the histograms of histograms for each parameter is provided. Note that the contents of the "PolarizationDependentFits" and "FitStatistics" folders are subdivided into folders for each color channel if there are multiple color channels worth of data.

(D) Automated re-analysis

If the user has need to rapidly re-analyze the same dataset, for instance to observe the effect of varying values of a parameter, e.g. Ri, one can utilize the automated re-analysis functionality. To do this the user should run the Extinction Suite Particle Analysis as they would normally do for a dataset choosing parameters in the user prompts. We can call this run the Primary. The output now includes text files in the “Processing” folder. These are externally editable and the text has labels. 3 of these are text files containing coordinates for peaks (or bg datapoints). They are called by the program simply to know where to make measurements.
The important file however for obtaining new results is the “Parameters.txt” file. It saves all parameters in an ordered and structured way so that Extinction Suite can read the file and load the parDialogue offering to use parameters from text fileameters. This file should be edited externally with the new parameters of interest. To run the Extinction suite on the same dataset with different parameters, one should make a new base folder and put into it the “ProcessedImages" folder from the Primary run. Additionally one should add a “Processing” folder to this new base and into this place the .txt files from the Primary run.
When running Extinction Suite particle analysis module, the software checks to see if the “Processing” folder already exists, and if a "Parameters.txt” is contained within. If so, a new prompt is presented to the user requesting whether the user wishes to load the parameters and coordinates from the files. Once the user clicks yes, there is no more input from the user and Extinction Suite will run at the exact same locations as in the reference and with the exact same parameters from the text file, unless these are externally altered.

(E) Time series analysis

Extinction and scattering time series naturally follow from the experimental methods discussed in this page. Specifically, stage-camera synchronous recording allows a variable time-resolution method for obtaining time-dependent extinction data, with resolution depending on choice of online averaging number and acquisitions per position (discussed above in the Extinction Module section). If observation of extinction as a function of time is of interest, then one can run this part of the analysis. However, other data which can be treated similarly with respect to the analysis, such as time-resolved fluorescence data can also be examined with Extinction Suite, and in particular using this aspect of the software. Note, that output value scaling can be the units of the area of the integral or can be unscaled (see below in "Additional options").

Operations of Extinction suite vary only little compared to standard, with an additional operation to choose a strong peak for the time registration. Once registered, the time-sequence can be averaged over a user-defined range, and then peak positions are found, and proximity-filtered as in the normal analysis approach. All proximity-filtered peaks are then filtered by their area-integrated signal by the user. This filtering is performed via a histogram presented to user by which they can judge and define the max/min value range (as in the normal analysis approach). After filtering, the average signal is measured for all retained particles, then the time-dependent integrated signal is measured (for all retained particles) and saved to an excel spreadsheet. Particle data can be associated to the location in the image in the typical way. The time-dependent signal of all retained particles is plotted, and can be fitted with either exponential decay (\(I=I_0\exp{-t/T}\)) or linear models. The fit parameters are retained and recorded in the same spreadsheet that the time-dependent signals are recorded.

Time-dependent data is saved in a subfolder of the Results folder called "TimeDependentFits." Within "TimeDependentFits" are subfolders called "Extinction_xxx_yyy" or "Scattering_xxx_yyy" where xxx indicate the center (or otherwise descriptive) wavelength of the filter range for the experiment and yyy indicates the polariser angle. xxx will not be an empty value, yyy can be empty and the preceeding underscore removed, if the experiment was not polarisation-resolved. These subfolders contain the above discussed data, fit paramters, and plots associated with each wavelength and polariser angle.

In order to use this analysis section, one must of course have time-dependent data. If developing extinction images using the Extinction Module, one can choose to "Save all extinction timepoints". Beware, this can result in significant data storage cost if there are many images to be saved in an experiment and/or many filters/polarisation experiments. The resulting time series folders and images will be used directly in the time series analysis. The nomenclature of the folders containing the timepoint data is "Extinction_timepoints_xxx_yyy", where again xxx and yyy have the typical meaning. If a user wants to analyze darkfield (scattering) or fluorescence data, which may not need explicit development like the extinction images, the user should create folders of the above nomenclature in the base folder, and place time series data into the folder named with the appropriate wavelength/polariser angle. Note that if the data was taken for unpolarized experiment type, then "_yyy" can be omitted from the folder name. "_xxx" should never be omitted.

Summary of Images to be taken

The following images need to be taken to determine extinction and scattering of a nanoparticle sample

Last edited 03/11/2021 Wolfgang Langbein