The mechanisms of super-resolution imaging by contact microspherical or microcylindrical nanoscopy remain an enigmatic question since these lenses neither have an ability to amplify the near-fields like in the case of far-field superlens, nor they have a hyperbolic dispersion similar to hyperlenses. In this work, we present results along two lines. First, we performed numerical modeling of super-resolution properties of two-dimensional (2-D) circular lens in the limit of wavelength-scale diameters, λ ≤ D ≤ 2λ, and relatively high indices of refraction, n=2. Our preliminary results on imaging point dipoles indicate that the resolution is generally close to λ/4; however on resonance with whispering gallery modes it may be slightly higher. Second, experimentally, we used actin protein filaments for the resolution quantification in microspherical nanoscopy. The critical feature of our approach is based on using arrayed cladding layer with strong localized surface plasmon resonances. This layer is used for enhancing plasmonic near-field illumination of our objects. In combination with the magnification of virtual image, this technique resulted in the lateral resolution of actin protein filaments on the order of λ/7.
V. N. Astratov, A. V. Maslov, A. Brettin, K. F. Blanchette, Y. E. Nesmelov, N. I. Limberopoulos, D. E. Walker, and A. M. Urbas, "Contact microspherical nanoscopy: from fundamentals to biomedical applications," Proc. SPIE 10077, Nanoscale Imaging, Sensing, and Actuation for Biomedical Applications XIV, 100770S (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 01, 2017; Published: 23 February 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2251869.
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