We have developed a method of the terahertz (THz) solid immersion microscopy for the reflection-mode imaging of soft biological tissues. It relies on the use of the solid immersion lens (SIL), which employs the electromagnetic wave focusing into the evanescent-field volume (i.e. at a small distance behind the medium possessing high refractive index) and yields reduction in the dimensions of the THz beam caustic. We have assembled an experimental setup using a backward-wave oscillator, as a source of the continuous-wave THz radiation featuring λ= 500 μm, a Golay cell, as a detector of the THz wave intensity, and a THz SIL comprised of a wide-aperture aspherical singlet, a truncated sphere and a thin scanning windows. The truncated sphere and the scanning window are made of high-resistivity float-zone silicon and form a unitary optical element mounted in front of the object plane for the resolution enhancement. The truncated sphere is rigidly fixed, while the scanning window moves in lateral directions, allowing for handling and visualizing the soft tissues. We have applied the experimental setup for imaging of a razor blade to demonstrate the advanced 0:2λ resolution of the proposed imaging arrangement. Finally, we have performed imaging of sub-wavelength-scale tissue spheroids to highlight potential of the THz solid immersion microscopy in biology and medicine.
N. V. Chernomyrdin, A. S. Kucheryavenko, G. S. Kolontaeva, G. M. Katyba, P. A. Karalkin, V. A. Parfenov, A. A. Gryadunova, N. E. Norkin, O. A. Smolyanskaya, O. V. Minin, I. V. Minin, V. E. Karasik, and K. I. Zaytsev, "A potential of terahertz solid immersion microscopy for visualizing sub-wavelength-scale tissue spheroids," Proc. SPIE 10677, Unconventional Optical Imaging, 106771Y (Presented at SPIE Photonics Europe: April 26, 2018; Published: 24 May 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2306132.
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