12/2019: Preprint “Unibody microscope objective tipped with a microsphere: design, fabrication and application in subwavelength imaging”

https://arxiv.org/abs/1912.09550

(Submitted on 19 Dec 2019)

Microsphere-based subwavelength imaging technique was first demonstrated in 2011. After nearly a decade of efforts, such technique has spawned numerous interests in fields such as laser nano-machining, imaging, sensing and biological detection. For wider industrial scale application of the technique, a robust, low-cost objective lens incorporating microsphere lens is highly desired and sought by many researchers. In this work, we demonstrate a unibody microscope objective lens formed by tipping a high-index microsphere onto a Plano-Convex lens and subsequently fitting them into a conventional objective lens. We call such new objective the Plano-Convex-Microsphere (PCM) objective, which resembles the appearance and operation of an ordinary microscope objective, while providing super-resolving power in discerning subwavelength nanoscale features in air condition. The imaging performance of PCM-objective along with the working distance has been systematically investigated. With the assistance of scanning process, larger area imaging is realized. The PCM-objective can be easily adaptive to many existing microscope systems and appealing for commercialization.

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