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Evanescent microwaves: a novel super-resolution noncontact nondestructive imaging technique for biological applications

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3 Author(s)
Tabib-Azar, M. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng. & Comput. Sci., Case Western Reserve Univ., Cleveland, OH, USA ; Katz, J.L. ; LeClair, S.R.

Scanning tunneling microscopes (STM) and atomic force microscopes (AFM) are used to study biological materials. These methods, often capable of achieving atomic resolutions, reveal fascinating information regarding the inner workings of these materials. However, both STM and AFM require physical contact to the specimen. In the case of STM the specimen needs to be conducting as well. Here we introduce a new method for imaging biological materials through air or a suitable liquid using decaying or evanescent fields at the tip of a properly designed microwave resonator. This novel method involves the use of an evanescent microwave probe (EMP) and it is capable of imaging a variety of nonuniformities in biological materials including conductivity, permittivity, and density variations. EMP is a noncontact and nondestructive sensor and it does not require conducting specimens. Its spatial resolution is currently around 0.4 μm at 1 GHz. We have used this probe to map nonuniformities in a variety of materials including metals, semiconductors, insulators, and biological and botanical samples. Here we discuss applications of EMP imaging in bone, teeth, botanical, and agricultural specimens

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Instrumentation and Measurement, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:48 ,  Issue: 6 )