Probing the negative permittivity perfect lens at optical frequencies using near-field optics and single molecule detection
Robert J. Moerland, Niek F. van Hulst, Henkjan Gersen, Laurens Kuipers
© 2005 Optical Society of America, Optics Express 1604
Volume: 13, Issue: 5, 7 March 2005
Recently, the existence of a perfect lens has been predicted, made of an artificial material that has a negative electric permittivity and a negative magnetic permeability. For optical frequencies a poormans version is predicted to exist in the sub-wavelength limit. Then, only the permittivity has to be negative, a demand that metals fulfill at optical frequencies. We propose a new measurement scheme to verify the performance of such a negative permittivity near-perfect lens at optical frequencies. The scheme is based on near-field scanning optical microscopy and single molecule detection. Prerequisite near-field single molecule data, necessary to assess the performance of the lens, is presented. A numerical evaluation, which includes absorption, of the expected performance of a slab of a realistic negative permittivity material confirms the merits of the scheme.
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