Analysis of deep sub-micron resolution in microsphere based imaging


Based on full wave simulations, ∼0.3 λ and ∼0.24 λ imaging resolutions can be achieved for incoherent transverse and longitudinal point dipoles, respectively, when the dipoles are on an aluminum oxide base with a fused silica microsphere as the imaging lens. These high spatial resolutions (better than 0.5 λ) can be attributed to almost 90° light acceptance angle of the microsphere and the solid immersion effects from the microsphere/base material. These simulation results can explain the ≳0.3 λ and ≳0.24 λ minimum resolvable center to center separation distance for thin metallic nanostructures and elongated metallic nanostructures, respectively, which is equal to ≳0.1–0.14 λ edge to edge distance observed in previous microsphere imaging experiments.

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