Surface Plasmon Immersion Microscope (ISR IP)
For more information, contact ISR External Relations Director
Jeff Coriale at email@example.com or 301.405.6604.
Christopher Davis, Stuart Milner, Igor Smolyaninov
The resolution of any far-field optical microscope is limited by diffraction. The order of magnitude of the resolution is R~1/n. A common way of increasing the resolution of a conventional microscope is to immerse the sample into a liquid with a refractive index of n. In fact immersion microscopes exploit this physical property. However, the range of refractive indices of known materials in the visible range is limited n is less than 2.4, and the resolution of a usual immersion microscope remains limited by the wavelength of light in a vacuum.
This invention makes use of the extremely large effective refractive index experienced by surface electromagnetic waves in their interaction with thin dielectric objects. The effective refractive index of a dielectric object on such a surface may reach up to ~1,000. Thus the resolution of this "new" immersion microscope may reach a few nanometers.
Implemented in reverse, such a microscope may be used in subwavelength lithography with nanoscale resolution.
For more information
If you would like to license this intellectual property, have questions, would like to contact the inventors, or need more information, contact ISR External Relations Director Jeff Coriale at firstname.lastname@example.org or 301.405.6604.
ISR-IP-Davis ISR-IP-optical ISR-IP-nearfield
Published June 21, 2007