An Innovative Approach to Superlens Technology
Conventional shaped glass lenses are limited in their ability to redirect incoming light beams and have them meet at a precise point. However, a team at Singapore’s A*STAR Institute of High Performance Computing has shared an innovative approach to ‘superlens’ technology.
To develop the design, the team used numerical modelling. By concentrating radiation into a smaller volume, the interaction between light and matter is enhanced. It is expected that this concept could be useful in very sensitive sensors of the future.
As a type of wave, light consists of oscillating electric and magnetic fields. The distance travelled by a wave in one oscillation cycle is its wavelength and this involves a direct limit on the minimum size to which it is possible to focus light. However, this limit is not relevant to small distances that can be compared to the wavelength – otherwise known as the near-field regime.
The use of a ‘superlens’ (and restriction of light into intense ‘hot spots’) may prove advantageous for optical detection systems. The concept is currently targeted at biomedical and chemical sensing applications.