Ultra-high Resolution 2-dimentional Real-time Image Capture with Super Lens
Applications to high-precision semiconductor processing or intracellular structures observation are possible.
A joint research team led by Professors Yongkeun Park and Yong-Hoon Cho from the Department of Physics, KAIST, has succeeded in capturing real-time 2D images at a resolution of 100 nm (nanometers), which was impossible with optical lens due to the diffraction limit of light until now. Its future application includes high-precision semiconductor manufacturing process or observation of intracellular structures.
This research follows the past research of the super-lens developed by Professor Park last April, using paint spray to observe images that have three times higher resolution than those discovered by conventional optical lens.
Since optical lens utilize the refraction of light, the diffraction limit, which prevents achieving focus smaller than the wavelength of light, has always been a barrier for acquiring high-resolution images. In the past, it was impossible to observe objects less than the size of 200 to 300 nm in the visible light spectrum.
In order to solve the problem of near-field extinction due to scattering of light, the research team used spray paint consisting of nano-particles massed with dense scattering materials to obtain high-resolution information.
Then, by calculating and restoring the first scattering shape of light using the time reversibility of light, the researchers were able to overcome the diffraction limit. The original position of an object to be observed is obtained by deriving the complex trajectory of the light, and reversing the time to locate the particular position of the object.
Professor Park said, “This new technology can be used as the core technology in all fields which require optical measurement and control. The existing electron microscopy cannot observe cells without destroying them, but the new technology allows us to visualize at ultra-high resolution without destruction.”
The research results were published online in the 9th edition of Physical Review Letters, a prestigious international journal in the field of physics.
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