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 24.07.2009   Карта сайта     Language По-русски По-английски
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24.07.2009

Nature 460, 498-501 (23 July 2009) | doi:10.1038/nature08173; Received 30 December 2008; Accepted 28 May 2009



Near-field focusing and magnification through self-assembled nanoscale spherical lenses


Ju Young Lee1,6, Byung Hee Hong1,2,6, Woo Youn Kim1, Seung Kyu Min1, Yukyung Kim1, Mikhail V. Jouravlev1, Ranojoy Bose3, Keun Soo Kim2, In-Chul Hwang1, Laura J. Kaufman4, Chee Wei Wong3, Philip Kim5 & Kwang S. Kim1




  1. Center for Superfunctional Materials, Department of Chemistry, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Hyojadong, Namgu, Pohang 790-784, Korea

  2. Department of Chemistry and SKKU Advanced Institute of Nanotechnology, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon 440-746, Korea

  3. Department of Mechanical Engineering,

  4. Department of Chemistry,

  5. Department of Physics, Columbia University, New York, New York 10027, USA

  6. These authors contributed equally to this work.


Correspondence to: Philip Kim5Kwang S. Kim1 Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to Kwang S. Kim (Email: kim@postech.ac.kr) or P.K. (Email: pkim@phys.columbia.edu).





It is well known that a lens-based far-field optical microscope cannot resolve two objects beyond Abbe's diffraction limit. Recently, it has been demonstrated that this limit can be overcome by lensing effects driven by surface-plasmon excitation1, 2, 3, and by fluorescence microscopy driven by molecular excitation4. However, the resolution obtained using geometrical lens-based optics without such excitation schemes remains limited by Abbe's law even when using the immersion technique5, which enhances the resolution by increasing the refractive indices of immersion liquids. As for submicrometre-scale or nanoscale objects, standard geometrical optics fails for visible light because the interactions of such objects with light waves are described inevitably by near-field optics6. Here we report near-field high resolution by nanoscale spherical lenses that are self-assembled by bottom-up integration7 of organic molecules. These nanolenses, in contrast to geometrical optics lenses, exhibit curvilinear trajectories of light, resulting in remarkably short near-field focal lengths. This in turn results in near-field magnification that is able to resolve features beyond the diffraction limit. Such spherical nanolenses provide new pathways for lens-based near-field focusing and high-resolution optical imaging at very low intensities, which are useful for bio-imaging, near-field lithography, optical memory storage, light harvesting, spectral signal enhancing, and optical nano-sensing.



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