Abstract

We analyze the far-field resolution of apertures that are illuminated by a point dipole located at subwavelength distances. It is well known that radiation emitted by a localized source can be considered a combination of traveling and evanescent waves, when represented by the angular spectrum method. The evanescent wave part of the source can be converted to propagating waves by diffraction at the aperture; thereby it contributes to the far-field detection. Therefore one can expect an increase in the resolution of objects. We present explicit calculations showing that the resolution at the far zone is improved by decreasing the source-aperture distance. We also utilize the resolution enhancement by the near field of a dipole to resolve two closely located apertures. The results show that without the near field (evanescent field) the apertures are not resolved, whereas with the near field of the dipole the far zone intensity distribution shows improved resolution. This method eliminates the requirements of near-field techniques such as controlling and scanning closely located tip detectors.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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