In theory, surface-plasmon-driven superlens looks promising for wideband use

colored_blobs
In an illustration of Durdu Güney's theoretical metamaterial, magnetic fields generated by plasmons are depicted in color. Black arrows show the direction of electrical current in metallic layers; the numbers indicate current loops that contribute to negative refraction. (Image: Michigan Technological University)



Houghton, MI--Durdu Güney, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Michigan Technological University, has taken a step toward creating a superlens that could use visible light to see objects as small as 100 nm across.1 The lens would be made of an optical plasmonic metamaterial.

Other researchers have been able to create superlenses that sidestep the diffraction limit, but not throughout the entire visible spectrum. Güney’s model shows how metamaterials might be “stretched” to refract light from the IR through the visible and into the UV.

In the superlens, a thin metal film interacts with a periodic array of nanostructures around it, resulting in a surface-plasmon-driven metamaterial with a double negative refractive index (simultaneous negative permittivity and permeability). Making these superlenses could be relatively inexpensive, possibly even enabling them to find their way into cell phones. But there would be other uses as well, says Güney.

“It could also be applied to lithography," he says. Semiconductor-chip patterns are made using light from UV excimer lasers. “With this superlens," says Güney, "you could use a red laser, like the pointers everyone uses, and have simple, cheap [optical lithography] machines, just by changing the lens.”

What excites Güney the most, however, is that a cheap, accessible superlens could open our collective eyes to worlds previously known only to a very few. “The public’s access to high-powered microscopes is negligible,” he says. “With superlenses, everybody could be a scientist. People could put their cells on Facebook. It might just inspire society’s scientific soul.”

REFERENCE:

1. Muhammad I. Aslam and Durdu Ö. Güney, Physical Review B 84, 195465 (2011); DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.84.195465




Most Popular Articles

Webcasts

Ray Optics Simulations with COMSOL Multiphysics

The Ray Optics Module can be used to simulate electromagnetic wave propagation when the wavelength is much smaller than the smallest geometric entity in the ...
White Papers

Accurate LED Source Modeling Using TracePro

Modern optical modeling programs allow product design engineers to create, analyze, and optimize ...

Tailored bar concepts for 10 mm-mrad fiber coupled modules scalable to kW-class direct diode lasers

In this paper, laser modules based on newly developed tailored bars are presented. The modules al...

All About Aspheric Lenses

The most notable benefit of aspheric lenses is their ability to correct for spherical aberration....
Technical Digests

OPTICAL COATINGS: Evolving technology produces new benefits

The antireflection, high-reflection, and/or spectral characteristics provided by optical coatings...

REMOTE FIBER-OPTIC SENSING: Data in abundance from difficult environments

The use of optical fibers to measure strain, temperature, and other parameters at desired points ...

SCANNERS FOR MATERIALS PROCESSING: Serving demanding applications

Galvanometer-based scanners are an essential component in laser-based materials-processing system...

Click here to have your products listed in the Laser Focus World Buyers Guide.

PRESS RELEASES

Synopsys' CODE V Version 10.4 is now generally available

03/30/2012 Synopsys' CODE V Enhances Analysis of Precision Optical Systems.

Scratch-resistant mirror with gold surface

03/12/2012 In the LINOS catalog from Qioptiq you will now find the scratch-resistant mirror with gold surface.
Social Activity
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Copyright © 2007-2015. PennWell Corporation, Tulsa, OK. All Rights Reserved.PRIVACY POLICY | TERMS AND CONDITIONS