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Surface Plasmon Immersion Microscope (ISR IP)

ISR intellectual property available to license

Inventor
Christopher Davis, Stuart Milner, Igor Smolyaninov

U.S. Patent: 7,362,440; 7,362,442

Description
The resolution of any far-field optical microscope is limited by diffraction. The order of magnitude of the resolution is R~1/n. A common way of increasing the resolution of a conventional microscope is to immerse the sample into a liquid with a refractive index of n. In fact immersion microscopes exploit this physical property. However, the range of refractive indices of known materials in the visible range is limited n is less than 2.4, and the resolution of a usual immersion microscope remains limited by the wavelength of light in a vacuum.

This invention makes use of the extremely large effective refractive index experienced by surface electromagnetic waves in their interaction with thin dielectric objects. The effective refractive index of a dielectric object on such a surface may reach up to ~1,000. Thus the resolution of this "new" immersion microscope may reach a few nanometers.

Implemented in reverse, such a microscope may be used in subwavelength lithography with nanoscale resolution.

For more information
If you would like to license this intellectual property, have questions, would like to contact the inventors, or need more information, contact ISR External Relations Director Jeff Coriale at coriale@umd.edu or 301.405.6604.

Find more ISR IP
You can go to our categorical IP search page to search by research category or faculty name. Or view the entire list of available IP on our complete IP listing page.

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June 21, 2007


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For more information, contact ISR External Relations Director
Jeff Coriale at coriale@umd.edu or 301.405.6604.

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