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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Michael Duncan
  • Vol. 13, Iss. 2 — Jan. 24, 2005
  • pp: 526–533

Optical analysis of nanoparticles via enhanced backscattering facilitated by 3-D photonic nanojets

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


Optics Express, Vol. 13, Issue 2, pp. 526-533 (2005)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OPEX.13.000526


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Abstract

We report the phenomenon of ultra-enhanced backscattering of visible light by nanoparticles facilitated by the 3-D photonic nanojet – a sub-diffraction light beam appearing at the shadow side of a plane-wave-illuminated dielectric microsphere. Our rigorous numerical simulations show that backscattering intensity of nanoparticles can be enhanced up to eight orders of magnitude when locating in the nanojet. As a result, the enhanced backscattering from a nanoparticle with diameter on the order of 10 nm is well above the background signal generated by the dielectric microsphere itself. We also report that nanojet-enhanced backscattering is extremely sensitive to the size of the nanoparticle, permitting in principle resolving sub-nanometer size differences using visible light. Finally, we show how the position of a nanoparticle could be determined with subdiffractional accuracy by recording the angular distribution of the backscattered light. These properties of photonic nanojets promise to make this phenomenon a useful tool for optically detecting, differentiating, and sorting nanoparticles.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(170.0170) Medical optics and biotechnology : Medical optics and biotechnology
(290.1350) Scattering : Backscattering
(290.5850) Scattering : Scattering, particles

ToC Category:
Research Papers

History
Original Manuscript: November 22, 2004
Revised Manuscript: January 11, 2005
Published: January 24, 2005

Citation
Xu Li, Zhigang Chen, Allen Taflove, and Vadim Backman, "Optical analysis of nanoparticles via enhanced backscattering facilitated by 3-D photonic nanojets," Opt. Express 13, 526-533 (2005)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-13-2-526


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References

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