Abstract

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.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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