Dark-field hyperlens for high-contrast sub-wavelength imaging

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By now superresolution imaging using hyperbolic metamaterial (HMM) structures – hyperlenses – has been demonstrated both theoretically and experimentally. The hyperlens operation relies on the fact that HMM allows propagation of waves with very large transverse wavevectors, which would be evanescent in common isotropic media (thus giving rise to the diffraction limit). However, nearly all hyperlenses proposed so far have been suitable only for very strong scatterers – such as holes in a metal film. When weaker scatterers, dielectric objects for example, are imaged then incident light forms a very strong background, and weak scatterers are not visible due to a poor contrast. We propose a so-called dark-field hyperlens, which would be suitable for imaging of weakly scattering objects. By designing parameters of the HMM, we managed to obtain its response in such way that the hyperlens structure exhibits a cut-off for waves with small transverse wavevectors (low-k waves). This allows the structure to filter out the background illumination, which is contained in low-k waves. We numerically demonstrate that our device achieves superresolution imaging while providing the strong contrast for weak dielectric scatterers. These findings hold a great promise for dark-field superresolution, which could be important in real-time dynamic nanoscopy of label-free biological objects for example. © (2016) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE
Number of pages7
PublisherSPIE - International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication date2016
Article number98830T
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventMetamaterials X: SPIE Conference 9883 - SQUARE Brussels Meeting Centre, Brussels, Belgium
Duration: 4 Apr 20167 Apr 2016


ConferenceMetamaterials X
LocationSQUARE Brussels Meeting Centre
SeriesProceedings of SPIE, the International Society for Optical Engineering

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2016 Society of Photo Optical Instrumentation Engineers. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic electronic or print reproduction and distribution, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited.


  • Hyperbolic metamaterials
  • Hyperlens
  • Superresolution
  • Dark-field hyperlens


Cite this

Repän, T., Zhukovsky, S., Lavrinenko, A., & Willatzen, M. (2016). Dark-field hyperlens for high-contrast sub-wavelength imaging. In Proceedings of SPIE (Vol. 9883). [98830T] SPIE - International Society for Optical Engineering. Proceedings of SPIE, the International Society for Optical Engineering, Vol.. 9883 https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2224720