Fundaments of optical far-field subwavelength resolution based on illumination with surface waves

Roberto Lopez-Boada, Charles J. Regan, Daniel Dominguez, Ayrton A. Bernussi, Luis Grave De Peralta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


We present a general discussion about the fundamental physical principles involved in a novel class of optical superlenses that permit to realize in the far-field direct non-scanning images with subwavelength resolution. Described superlenses are based in the illumination of the object under observation with surface waves excited by fluorescence, the enhanced transmission of fluorescence via coupling with surface waves, and the occurrence of far-field coherence-related fluorescence diffraction phenomena. A Fourier optics description of the image formation based on illumination with surface waves is presented, and several recent experimental realizations of this technique are discussed. Our theoretical approach explains why images with subwavelength resolution can be formed directly in the microscope camera, without involving scanning or numerical post-processing. While resolution of the order of a;/7 has been demonstrated using the described approach, we anticipate that deeper optical subwavelength resolution should be expected.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11928-11942
Number of pages15
JournalOptics Express
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 20 2013


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