Synthesis and super-resolution imaging performance of a refractive-index-controllable microsphere superlens

Zhu, H.E. and Yan, B. and Zhou, S.X. and Wang, Z.B. and Wu, L.M. (2015) Synthesis and super-resolution imaging performance of a refractive-index-controllable microsphere superlens. Journal of Materials Chemistry C, 3 (41). pp. 10907-10915. DOI: 10.1039/C5TC02310F

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Microspheres can function as optical superlenses for nanoscale super-resolution imaging. The imaging performance is mainly affected by the size and refractive index of the microsphere. Precise control of these parameters is a challenging task but of fundamental importance to the further development of the technique. In this study, we demonstrate for the first time a nanoparticle-hybrid suspension polymerization approach to chemically synthesize high-quality microspheres (ZrO2/polystyrene) with optical properties that are highly controllable. Microspheres of different sizes (d: 2�20 μm) and refractive indexes (np: 1.590�1.685) were synthesized and their super-resolution imaging performances were evaluated and compared. Our results show that continuously increasing the refractive index of microspheres can enhance the imaging resolution and quality. A 60 nm resolution has been obtained in the wide-field imaging mode and a 50 nm resolution has been obtained in the confocal mode imaging of semiconductor chip samples. The obtained 50�60 nm resolutions have significantly gone beyond the conventional 200 nm resolution limit for visible light optical microscopes; the super-resolution mechanism has been discussed. The synthesized microsphere superlenses may find applications in many other areas as well, including nanolithography, nano-sensing, nano-diagnosis, nano-spectroscopy and ultra-high density optical data storage.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Research Publications
Departments: College of Physical and Applied Sciences > School of Electronic Engineering
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2015 03:18
Last Modified: 27 Nov 2015 03:26
ISSN: 2050-7526
URI: http://e.bangor.ac.uk/id/eprint/5900
Identification Number: DOI: 10.1039/C5TC02310F
Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry
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