Abstract

Microsphere-based subwavelength imaging technique was first demonstrated in 2011. After nearly a decade of efforts, such technique has spawned numerous interests in fields such as laser nano-machining, imaging, sensing, and biological detection. For wider industrial-scale application of the technique, a robust and low-cost objective lens incorporating a microsphere lens is highly desired and sought by many researchers. In this work, we demonstrate a unibody microscope objective lens formed by tipping a high-index microsphere onto a plano-convex lens and subsequently fitting them into a conventional objective lens. We call this the plano-convex-microsphere (PCM) objective, which resembles the appearance and operation of an ordinary microscope objective while providing super-resolving power in discerning subwavelength 100 nm features ($\lambda /{4}.{7}$) in air and far-field conditions. The imaging performance of the PCM objective, along with the working distance, has been systematically investigated. It has a calibrated resolution of $\lambda /{3}$ in the far field, a numerical aperture of 1.57, and a working distance of 3.5 µm. With the assistance of a scanning process, larger-area imaging is realized. The PCM objective can be easily adapted to existing microscope systems and is appealing for commercialization.

© 2020 Optical Society of America

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Supplementary Material (3)

NameDescription
» Visualization 1       IC Chip imaging 1 (Fig. 2)
» Visualization 2       Blu-ray imaging (Fig. 3)
» Visualization 3       IC Chip imaging 2 (Fig. 4)

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