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Sub–Diffraction-Limited Optical Imaging with a Silver Superlens

Science  22 Apr 2005:
Vol. 308, Issue 5721, pp. 534-537
DOI: 10.1126/science.1108759

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Abstract

Recent theory has predicted a superlens that is capable of producing sub–diffraction-limited images. This superlens would allow the recovery of evanescent waves in an image via the excitation of surface plasmons. Using silver as a natural optical superlens, we demonstrated sub–diffraction-limited imaging with 60-nanometer half-pitch resolution, or one-sixth of the illumination wavelength. By proper design of the working wavelength and the thickness of silver that allows access to a broad spectrum of subwavelength features, we also showed that arbitrary nanostructures can be imaged with good fidelity. The optical superlens promises exciting avenues to nanoscale optical imaging and ultrasmall optoelectronic devices.

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