[Paleopsych] New superlens opens door to nanoscale optical imaging, high-density optoelectronics

Steve Hovland shovland at mindspring.com
Fri Apr 22 13:29:57 UTC 2005

(A) is an image of an array of nanowires 60 nanometers wide created with 
the silver superlens. The center distance between each nanowire is 120 
nanometers. To the right (B) is an image of the same nanowires. In this 
image, created without the superlens, the individual nanowires are not 
distinct. The scale bar on both images is 1 micrometer. (Image by Cheng 
Sun, UC Berkeley) Click here 
<http://www.eurekalert.org/images/release_graphics/uoc0418_1.jpg> for a 
high resolution photograph.  	
Berkeley -- A group of scientists at the University of California, 
Berkeley, is giving new relevance to the term "sharper image" by creating a 
superlens that can overcome a limitation in physics that has historically 
constrained the resolution of optical images.
Using a thin film of silver as the lens and ultraviolet (UV) light, the 
researchers recorded the images of an array of nanowires and the word 
"NANO" onto an organic polymer at a resolution of about 60 nanometers. In 
comparison, current optical microscopes can only make out details down to 
one-tenth the diameter of a red blood cell, or about 400 nanometers.
   Shown is a drawing of nano-scale imaging using a silver superlens that 
achieves a resolution beyond the optical diffraction limit. The red line 
indicates the enhancement of "evanescent" waves as they pass through the 
superlens. (Image by Cheng Sun, UC Berkeley) Click here 
<http://www.eurekalert.org/images/release_graphics/uoc0418_2.jpg> for a 
high resolution photograph.  	
The breakthrough, reported in the April 22 issue of the journal Science, 
opens the door to dramatic technological advances in nanoengineering that 
could eventually lead to DVDs that store the entire contents of the Library 
of Congress, and computer processors that can quickly search through such a 
huge volume of data, the researchers said.

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