Conference paper

Optical characterization of subwavelength-scale solid immersion lenses

We present the fabrication and optical characterization of nano-scale solid immersion lenses (nano-SILs) with sizes down to a subwavelength range. Submicron-scale cylinders fabricated by electron-beam lithography (EBL) are thermally reflowed to form a spherical shape. Subsequent soft lithography leads to nano-SILs on transparent substrates, i.e. glass, for optical characterization with visible light. The optical characterization is performed using a high-resolution interference microscope (HRIM) with illumination at 642 nm wavelength. The measurements of the 3D amplitude and phase fields provide information on the spot size and the peak intensity. In particular, the phase measurement is a more convincing proof of the Airy disc size reduction rather than the full-width at half maximum (FWHM) spot size. The focal spots produced by the nano-SILs show both spot-size reduction and enhanced optical intensity, which are consistent with the immersion effect. In this way, we experimentally confirm the immersion effect of a subwavelength-size SIL (d = 530 nm and h = 45 nm) with a spot reduction ratio of 1.35, which is less than the expected value of 1.5, most likely due to the slightly non-ideal shape of the nano-SIL.

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