Far-field optical superlens

Nano Lett. 2007 Feb;7(2):403-8. doi: 10.1021/nl062635n.


Far-field optical lens resolution is fundamentally limited by diffraction, which typically is about half of the wavelength. This is due to the evanescent waves carrying small scale information from an object that fades away in the far field. A recently proposed superlens theory offers a new approach by surface excitation at the negative index medium. We introduce a far-field optical superlens (FSL) that is capable of imaging beyond the diffraction limit. The FSL significantly enhances the evanescent waves of an object and converts them into propagating waves that are measured in the far field. We show that a FSL can image a subwavelength object consisting of two 50 nm wide lines separated by 70 nm working at 377 nm wavelength. The optical FSL promises new potential for nanoscale imaging and lithography.