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Optics Letters

Optics Letters


  • Editor: Alan E. Willner
  • Vol. 38, Iss. 16 — Aug. 15, 2013
  • pp: 2988–2990

Classical imaging theory of a microlens with super-resolution

Yubo Duan, George Barbastathis, and Baile Zhang  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Letters, Vol. 38, Issue 16, pp. 2988-2990 (2013)

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Super-resolution in imaging through a transparent spherical microlens has attracted lots of attention because of recent promising experimental results with remarkable resolution improvement. To provide physical insight for this super-resolution phenomenon, previous studies adopted a phenomenological explanation mainly based on the super-focusing effect of a photonic nanojet, while a direct imaging calculation with classical imaging theory has rarely been studied. Here we theoretically model the imaging process through a microlens with vectorial electromagnetic analysis, and then exclude the previously plausible explanation of super-resolution based on the super-focusing effect. The results showed that, in the context of classical imaging theory subject to the two-point resolution criterion, a microlens with a perfect spherical shape cannot achieve the experimentally verified sub-100 nm resolution. Therefore, there must be some other physical mechanisms that contribute to the reported ultrahigh resolution but have not been revealed in theory.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(100.6640) Image processing : Superresolution
(290.0290) Scattering : Scattering
(290.4020) Scattering : Mie theory
(350.3950) Other areas of optics : Micro-optics
(350.5730) Other areas of optics : Resolution

ToC Category:
Image Processing

Original Manuscript: April 25, 2013
Revised Manuscript: July 14, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: July 15, 2013
Published: August 6, 2013

Virtual Issues
Vol. 8, Iss. 9 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Yubo Duan, George Barbastathis, and Baile Zhang, "Classical imaging theory of a microlens with super-resolution," Opt. Lett. 38, 2988-2990 (2013)

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