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Total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (TIRF), in both commercial and custom-built configurations, is widely used for high signal-noise ratio imaging. The imaging depth of traditional TIRF is sensitive to the incident angle of the laser, and normally limited to around 100 nm. In our paper, using a high refractive index material and the evanescent waves of various waveguide modes, we propose a compact and tunable ultra-short decay length TIRF system, which can reach decay lengths asdoi:10.1364/oe.22.010728 pmid:24921774 fatcat:cx2yj4x7srgc5h4kpezq2tsjv4