Achieving better resolution in microscopy, metrology and lithography is an on going effort that could be realized by either using smaller wavelength illumination sources which is proved to be difficult for technical and economical reasons or using super-resolution – resolving images with smaller than wavelength features. Methods such as fluorescence, post-processing techniques and structured illumination are all images collected at far-field. The only known near-field measuring device is Near-field Scanning Optical Microscope, which is very slow, very sensitive to damages of the probe and for which the resolution is limited by the probe size.
Using metamaterials (double negative medium with negative refraction index) can be designed to be a perfect lens with no inherent resolution limit. However, they deteriorate fast and need to be efficiently coupled to detection scheme for image collection.
Fabricating such perfect lens directly on top of a detection apparatus or embedding the detection scheme directly in it enables to create a parallel near-field camera for 1-shot super resolution images of surfaces.
- Fast image acquisition
- High resolution
Applications and Opportunities
- Microscopy (mainly biological)