Abstract

This work focuses on the strong nonlinear saturation absorption (NSA)-induced optical super-resolution effect. A multi-layer system model is proposed to understand the strong NSA-induced formation of an optical pinhole channel and the generation of a super-resolution spot. Taking a Sb2Te3 thin film as an example, numerical simulations were conducted. The results illustrate that an optical pinhole channel is clearly formed by the NSA characteristics. This pinhole channel is similar to a near-field light probe. Light travels through the pinhole channel, and a super-resolution spot is generated at its apex. The near-field spot scanning experimental results show that the reduction ratio of the spot is approximately 44.8%, which is basically consistent with the numerical simulation result of 43%. This work is helpful for understanding optical nonlinear super-resolution effects and developing nanolithography, nanodata storage, high-resolution optical imaging technologies with nonlinear thin films.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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