Optical Sciences

Biomolecules and nanostructures

The Optical Sciences group studies the interaction of light and matter. Our current focus is on detection and sensing/imaging with an emphasis on the development of integrated photonics. We are part of Twente University's Department of Science and Technology and member of the MESA+ institute.


Probing the negative permittivity perfect lens at optical frequencies using near-field optics and single molecule detection

(full pdf)

Robert J. Moerland and Niek F. van Hulst, University of Twente; Henkjan Gersen, University of Aarhus; Laurens Kuipers, FOM Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics
Optics Express
Vol. 13, No. 5 p1604 - p1614 march 07 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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