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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Michael Duncan
  • Vol. 12, Iss. 7 — Apr. 5, 2004
  • pp: 1214–1220

Photonic nanojet enhancement of backscattering of light by nanoparticles: a potential novel visible-light ultramicroscopy technique

Zhigang Chen, Allen Taflove, and Vadim Backman  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 12, Issue 7, pp. 1214-1220 (2004)

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We report what we believe to be the first evidence of localized nanoscale photonic jets generated at the shadow-side surfaces of micron-scale, circular dielectric cylinders illuminated by a plane wave. These photonic nanojets have waists smaller than the diffraction limit and propagate over several optical wavelengths without significant diffraction. We have found that such nanojets can enhance the backscattering of visible light by nanometer-scale dielectric particles located within the nanojets by several orders of magnitude. Not involving evanescent fields and not requiring mechanical scanning, photonic nanojets may provide a new means to detect and image nanoparticles of size well below the diffraction limit. This could yield a potential novel ultramicroscopy technique using visible light for detecting proteins, viral particles, and even single molecules; and monitoring molecular synthesis and aggregation processes of importance in many areas of biology, chemistry, material sciences, and tissue engineering.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(170.0180) Medical optics and biotechnology : Microscopy
(290.1350) Scattering : Backscattering

ToC Category:
Research Papers

Original Manuscript: February 26, 2004
Revised Manuscript: March 17, 2004
Published: April 5, 2004

Zhigang Chen, Allen Taflove, and Vadim Backman, "Photonic nanojet enhancement of backscattering of light by nanoparticles: a potential novel visible-light ultramicroscopy technique," Opt. Express 12, 1214-1220 (2004)

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