Abstract

Due to the wave nature of light, resolution of optical imaging systems is limited to approximately half of the wavelength. The reason behind this limitation, known as diffraction limit, is the loss of information contained in evanescent waves at the far-field region. Here, we propose a new method to retrieve the information contained in evanescent waves in far field region resulting in a novel sub-wavelength imaging technique which can go beyond the diffraction limit. We theoretically prove that using interference of waves, between the target field and reference and reconstruction waves, one can apply a shift to the angular spectrum of the target field and convert a range of evanescent waves into propagating modes. Moreover, we demonstrate how these converted waves can be distinguished in far-field from other existing modes. Unlike previously developed sub-wavelength imaging techniques, the proposed method does not require either fluorescent materials or complex nano-structures to realize evanescent-to-propagating wave conversion. The performance of the method is numerically investigated illustrating a resolution of one-seventh of the working wavelength, which is much beyond the diffraction limit. The proposed technique can significantly simplify sub-wavelength imaging paving the road to develop practical low cost super-resolution imaging systems.

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