Abstract

A method is developed to enhance the amplitudes of the non-propagating evanescent orders of resonant dielectric gratings. The origin of these resonances is analyzed in detail. The method relies on interactions between stacked gratings with different periods, and so a formalism is developed to model such stacks mathematically. In addition, a theoretical approach is developed to design gratings that enhance or blaze desired orders. These orders, controlled independently by incident fields from different angles, interfere and are optimized to produce steerable sub-Rayleigh field concentrations on a surface. These spots may function as a virtual scanning probe for non-invasive sub-Rayleigh microscopy. Optimization is conducted using a Monte Carlo Markov chain, and spots are generated which are both 1 order of magnitude narrower than the free space Rayleigh limit and robust to noise in the incident fields.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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