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Imaging with solid immersion lenses, spatial resolution, and applications

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3 Author(s)
Qian Wu ; IBM Microelctron., Hopewell Junction, NY, USA ; L. P. Ghislain ; V. B. Elings

Solid immersion microscopy, similar to liquid immersion microscopy, extends the diffraction limit by filling the object space with a high refractive index material, such as glass (index of refraction n=1.5-2), sapphire (n/spl sim/1.8), and semiconductor materials (n/spl sim/3), which shrink the wavelength of light. But solid immersion technique can achieve significantly higher spatial resolution since the refractive indices of available solids can be much higher than those of liquids (n=1.3-1.5). Besides high spatial resolution, solid immersion microscopy also possesses all the good properties of far-field imaging, such as high transmission efficiency and parallel imaging capability, which make it outstanding among beyond-the-diffraction-limit optical imaging techniques. In this paper, we discuss, from an experimental point of view, the resolution limit of solid immersion microscopy and the implementation of such technique in various applications.

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Proceedings of the IEEE  (Volume:88 ,  Issue: 9 )