OSA's Digital Library

Optics Letters

Optics Letters


  • Editor: Xi-Cheng Zhang
  • Vol. 39, Iss. 17 — Sep. 1, 2014
  • pp: 5196–5199

Subdiffraction-limited radius measurements of microcylinders using conventional bright-field optical microscopy

Douglas J. Little and Deborah M. Kane  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Letters, Vol. 39, Issue 17, pp. 5196-5199 (2014)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (301 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



A technique for measuring the radius of dielectric microcylinders with subdiffraction-limited precision is presented. Diffraction fringes arising from the dielectric cylinder are measured using conventional bright-field optical microscopy and compared with theory to deduce the radii. The technique has been demonstrated measuring the radii of the major-ampullate silks from Plebs eburnus spiders. Precision better than 50 nm is demonstrated, using a standard optical microscope with a numerical aperture of 0.6 for the objective. Accuracy was verified using scanning electron microscopy. This technique will facilitate rapid, precise measurement of dielectric microcylinder radii, enabling a new optical-microscopy-based measurement approach for these challenging micro-optics.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(050.1940) Diffraction and gratings : Diffraction
(120.3940) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Metrology
(160.1435) Materials : Biomaterials
(100.3200) Image processing : Inverse scattering
(240.3990) Optics at surfaces : Micro-optical devices

ToC Category:
Optical Devices

Original Manuscript: June 23, 2014
Revised Manuscript: July 28, 2014
Manuscript Accepted: July 29, 2014
Published: August 28, 2014

Virtual Issues
Vol. 9, Iss. 11 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Douglas J. Little and Deborah M. Kane, "Subdiffraction-limited radius measurements of microcylinders using conventional bright-field optical microscopy," Opt. Lett. 39, 5196-5199 (2014)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. R. Ismaeel, T. Lee, M. Ding, M. Belal, and G. Brambilla, Laser Photon. Rev. 7, 350 (2013). [CrossRef]
  2. J. C. Knight, G. Cheung, F. Jacques, and T. A. Birks, Opt. Lett. 22, 1129 (1997). [CrossRef]
  3. V. R. Almeida, R. R. Panepucci, and M. Lipson, Opt. Lett. 28, 1302 (2003). [CrossRef]
  4. J. Villatoro and D. Monzón-Hernández, Opt. Express 13, 5087 (2005). [CrossRef]
  5. P. Polynkin, A. Polynkin, N. Peyghambarian, and M. Mansuripur, Opt. Lett. 30, 1237 (2005).
  6. G. Brambila, Opt. Fiber Technol. 16, 331 (2010). [CrossRef]
  7. U. Weidemann, K. Karapetyan, C. Dan, D. Pritzkau, W. Alt, S. Irsen, and D. Meschede, Opt. Express 18, 7693 (2010). [CrossRef]
  8. V. Grubsky and A. Savchenko, Opt. Express 13, 6798 (2005). [CrossRef]
  9. T. A. Birks, W. J. Wadsworth, and P. St. J. Russel, Opt. Lett. 25, 1415 (2000). [CrossRef]
  10. D. J. Little and D. M. Kane, Opt. Express 19, 19182 (2011). [CrossRef]
  11. D. J. Little and D. M. Kane, Opt. Lett. 36, 4098 (2011). [CrossRef]
  12. D. J. Little and D. M. Kane, Proc. SPIE 9130, 913009 (2014). [CrossRef]
  13. M. F. Ashby, L. J. Gibson, U. Wegst, and R. Olive, Proc. R. Soc. London A 450, 123 (1995). [CrossRef]
  14. J. M. Gosline, M. E. Demont, and M. W. Denny, Endeavour 10, 37 (1986). [CrossRef]
  15. N. Huby, V. Vié, A. Renault, S. Beaufils, T. Lefèvre, F. Pacquet-Mercier, M. Pézolet, and B. Bêche, Appl. Phys. Lett. 102, 123702 (2013). [CrossRef]
  16. F. Warken and H. Giessen, Opt. Lett. 29, 1727 (2004). [CrossRef]
  17. C. F. Bohren and D. R. Huffman, Absorption and Scattering of Light by Small Particles (Wiley1998).

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.


Fig. 1. Fig. 2.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited