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Overcoming the diffraction limit with a GaAs-based plasmonic superlens

Fehrenbacher, M.; Winnerl, S.; Döring, J.; Kehr, S. C.; Eng, L. M.; Huo, Y. H.; Schmidt, O. G.; Yao, K.; Liu, Y.; Helm, M.; Schneider, H.


We report a semiconductor-based superlens for sub-diffraction-limited near-field imaging at mid-infrared wavelengths. The superlens is based on a sequence of intrinsic and doped GaAs layers. Resonant enhancement of evanescent waves is accomplished here by exploiting the Drude response of a highly doped n-GaAs layer. Operation as a near-field superlens is validated by utilizing an aperture-less scattering near-field optical microscope (s-SNOM), which allows us to probe the image plane of the superlens with sub-wavelength resolution.
In our experiments, gold stripes underneath the GaAs superlens are imaged by the s-SNOM. The s-SNOM comprises an atomic-force microscope (AFM), the tip of which is illuminated by mid-infrared radiation from a free-electron laser (FEL). Imaging results reveal sub-wavelength resolution better than λ/6 at the resonant wavelength of λ = 22.0 µm. In excellent accordance with the Drude-Lorentz model, the resonant wavelength for superlensing can easily be adjusted by changing the doping concentration. Our approach thus reveals a simple and versatile superlens implementation for infrared nanospectroscopy. Detector issues specific for s-SNOM will also be addressed.
[1] M. Fehrenbacher, S. Winnerl, H. Schneider, J. Döring, S. C. Kehr, L. M. Eng, Y. Huo, O. G. Schmidt, K. Yao, Y. Liu, M. Helm, Nano Lett. 15, 1057 (2015)

Keywords: Scattering near-field optical microscopy; s-snom; superlens; GaAs; sub-diffraction-limited

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  • Lecture (Conference)
    Quantum Structured Infrared Photodetector International Conference (QSIP 2016), 12.-17.06.2016, Tel Aviv, Israel


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