In a solid immersion lens (SIL)-based system, we predict theoretically that, by using the illumination of an azimuthally polarized beam with helical phase (APH), the subwavelength focusing can be simultaneously realized both in SIL and the third medium in spite of the presence of an air gap between the SIL and the third medium, which is not easily achieved in the case of the illumination of linearly, circularly, and radially polarized beams. For the APH illumination, the field in the focal region of the multilayered medium has no longitudinal component, and the on-axis intensity of the focused spot is nonzero. The APH illumination extends the capacity of SIL in realizing a supersmall focused spot, which is useful in microscopy, near-field optics, recording optics, and lithographic optics.

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2010 (2)

2009 (2)

2008 (2)

2004 (1)

2000 (1)

1999 (1)

1959 (1)

B. Richards and E. Wolf, Proc. R. Soc. Lond. A 253, 358(1959).

Billy, L.

Braat, J.

Brown, T. G.

Choi, H.

Hao, X.

Hirota, K.

Huang, K.

Jo, J. S.

Kang, X. L.

Kawakami, S.

Kawauchi, H.

Kim, W. C.

Kozawa, Y.

Kuang, C. F.

Li, Y. P.

Liu, X.

Milster, T. D.

Park, K. S.

Park, N. C.

Park, Y. P.

Pereira, S.

Richards, B.

B. Richards and E. Wolf, Proc. R. Soc. Lond. A 253, 358(1959).

Sato, S.

Sato, T.

Shi, P.

van de Nes, A.

Wang, T.

Wolf, E.

B. Richards and E. Wolf, Proc. R. Soc. Lond. A 253, 358(1959).

Yoon, Y. J.

Youngworth, K. S.

Zhan, Q. W.

Zhang, X. B.

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Figures (4)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Schematic of the SIL-based system in our analysis. The efficient NA is 1.7 with the 2.0 refractive index ( n SIL ) of the SIL at a wavelength of 405 nm . The air gap has the thickness of λ / 8 . The front interface of the measured sample is at z = 0 , where the geometric focus of the prefocusing lens locates, which follows the configuration in [4]. For the convenience of drawing, we put the focus at z = λ / 8 in the sketch. The helical phase plate has the phase distribution with e i φ .

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

The intensity profiles in the SIL ( z < λ / 8 ), air gap, and measured sample ( z > 0 ) by the illumination of (a) RP and (b) APH. The discontinuity of intensity caused by the longitudinal field component in the RP illumination is clearly displayed by (c) the one-dimensional normalized intensity along the optical axis ( x = 0 ).

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

The radial intensity profiles in the transverse plane where (a)  z = λ / 8 in the air gap and (b)  z = 0 in the sample by the illumination of RP, CP, LP, and APH. LPX and LPY denote the intensity profiles along the x and y axes in the case of the LP illumination, respectively. The spot sizes are shown in Table 1. In the APH illumination, the intensity profiles of the radial, azimuthal field component and the total field where z = 0 in the sample are given in (c).

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

The spot size (where z = 0 ) in the sample with different refractive index when the APH illumination is adopted. The values (FWHM) (a) without and (b) with the aperture are shown. We assume that the transmission of the aperture is 0 where 0.12 < sin θ < 0.74 and 1 where sin θ > 0.74 and sin θ < 0.12 .

Tables (1)

Tables Icon

Table 1 Focused Spot Sizes (FWHM) Where z = λ / 8 (Plane I) in the Air Gap and z = 0 (Plane II) in the Sample by the Illumination of RP, CP, LP, and APH a

Equations (2)

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E j = i f λ 0 α A ( θ ) cos θ ( M j + e j i k j cos θ z + M j e j i k j cos θ z ) sin θ d θ ,
M j ± = π e i ϕ [ i ( g j 0 ± + g j 2 ± ) ( J 0 + J 2 ) ( g j 0 ± + g j 2 ± ) ( J 0 J 2 ) 0 ] ,