Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Nanoimprinted hyperlens array: Paving the way for practical super-resolution imaging

24.04.2017

The concept of a perfect lens that can produce immaculate and flawless images has been the Holy Grail of lens makers for centuries. In 1873, a German physicist and optical scientist by the name of Ernst Abbe discovered the diffraction limit of the microscope. In other words, he discovered that conventional lenses are fundamentally incapable of capturing all the details of any given image. Since then, there have been numerous advances in the field to produce images that appear to have higher resolution than allowed by diffraction-limited optics.

In 2000, Professor Sir John B. Pendry of Imperial College London -- the John Pendry who enticed millions of Harry Potter fans around the world with the possibility of a real Invisibility Cloak -- suggested a method of creating a lens with a theoretically perfect focus.


a) This is a multilayered spherical hyperlens structure. Metal and dielectric thin films are deposited on a spherical shape of substrate. b) This is a transmission electron microscopy (TEM) image of the cross-section of a replicated hyperlens c & d) Tilted view for the quartz master mold and the replicated substrate e) Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) image of the sub-diffraction scale objects. f) Far-field optical image after hyperlens. The small object below diffraction limit is clearly resolved by the hyperlens.

Image provided by POSTECH

The resolution of any optical imaging system has a maximum limit due to diffraction but Pendry's theoretic perfect lens would be crafted from metamaterials (materials engineered to have properties not found in nature) to go beyond the diffraction limit of conventional lenses. Overcoming this resolution limit of conventional optics could propel optical imaging science and technology into realms once only dreamt by common Muggles.

Scientists all over the world have since endeavored to achieve super-resolution imaging that capture the finest of details contained in evanescent waves that would otherwise be lost with conventional lenses. Hyperlenses are super-resolution devices that transform scattered evanescent waves into propagating waves to project the image into the far-field.

Recent experiments that focus on a single hyperlens made from an anisotropic metamaterial with a hyperbolic dispersion have demonstrated far-field sub-diffraction imaging in real time. However, such devices are limited by an extremely small observation area which consequently require precise positioning of the subject. A hyperlens array has been considered to be a solution, but fabrication of such an array would be extremely difficult and prohibitively expensive with existing nanofabrication technologies.

Research conducted by Professor Junsuk Rho's team from the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Department of Chemical Engineering at Pohang University of Science and Technology in collaboration with research team from Korea University has made great contributions to overcoming this obstacle by demonstrating a scalable and reliable fabrication process of a large scale hyperlens device based on direct pattern transfer techniques. This achievement has been published in the world-renowned Scientific Reports.

The team solved the main limitations of previous fabrication methods of hyperlens devices through nanoimprint lithography. Based on a simple pattern transfer process, the team was able to readily fabricate a perfect large-scale hyperlens device on a replicated hexagonal array of hemisphere substrate directly printed and pattern-transferred from the master mold, followed by metal-dielectric multilayer deposition by electron beam evaporation. This 5 cm x 5 cm hyperlens array has been demonstrated to resolve sub-diffraction features down to 160 nm under a 410 nm wavelength visible light.

Professor Rho anticipates that the research team's new cost-effective fabrication method can be used to proliferate practical far-field and real-time super-resolution imaging devices that can be widely used in optics, biology, medical science, nanotechnology, and other related interdisciplinary fields.

###

This research was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grants of Young Investigator program, Engineering Research Center program, Global Frontier program, Pioneer Research program, and the Commercialization Promotion Agency for R&D Outcomes (COMPA) grant, all funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP) of the Korean government.

Media Contact

Ms. YunMee Jung
ymjung@postech.ac.kr
82-542-792-417

Ms. YunMee Jung | EurekAlert!

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Borophene shines alone as 2-D plasmonic material
21.11.2017 | Rice University

nachricht Quantum dots amplify light with electrical pumping
21.11.2017 | DOE/Los Alamos National Laboratory

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Previous evidence of water on mars now identified as grainflows

21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope completes final cryogenic testing

21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New catalyst controls activation of a carbon-hydrogen bond

21.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>