University of Twente's new lens reveals the sub-100nm level with visible light

Sponsored Links

University of Twente's new lens reveals the sub-100nm level with visible light
Small is beautiful, but only when you can see it. Specifically, we're talking about nanostructures -- including cellular organelles and nanoelectronic circuits -- around the order of 100nm. The problem is with a microscope, visible light only takes us down to a resolution of 200nm at best, and it's not always ideal to use conventional methods to boost the resolution -- you'd either have to dope the subject with fluorescent dye or use highly delicate equipment. Thankfully, the University of Twente has come up with a new type of lens that would solve this problem: in a nutshell, a nanoparticle is placed on one side of the gallium phosphide lens, while the other side -- disorderedly etched with acid -- takes in a precisely modulated laser beam and scatters it into a focal point of your choice. Sure, this sounds bizarre and ironic, but apparently the modulation is controlled in such a way that the scattered beam focuses much tighter than an ordinary beam would using an ordinary lens. Have a look at the comparison shots of some gold nanoparticles after the break -- that's some sweet 97nm resolution right there for ya.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Popular on Engadget