Restoration of s-polarized evanescent waves and subwavelength imaging by a single dielectric slab

Omar El Gawhary et a, “Restoration of s-polarized evanescent waves and subwavelength imaging by a single dielectric slab”, l 2012 New J. Phys. 14 053025.

Abstract:
It was predicted a few years ago that a medium with negative index of refraction would allow for perfect imaging. Although no material has been found so far that behaves as a perfect lens, some experiments confirmed the theoretical predictions in the near-field, or quasi-static, regime where the behaviour of a negative index medium can be mimicked by a thin layer of noble metal, such as silver. These results are normally attributed to the excitation of surface plasmons in the metal, which only leads to the restoration of p-polarized evanescent waves. In this work, we show that the restoration of s-polarized evanescent waves and, correspondingly, sub-wavelength imaging by a single dielectric slab are possible. Specifically, we show that at  = 632 nm a thin layer of GaAs behaves as a superlens for s-polarized waves. Replacing the single-metal slab by a dielectric is not only convenient from a technical point of view, it being much easier to deposit and control the thickness and flatness of dielectric films than metal ones, but also invites us to re-think the connection between surface plasmon excitation and the theory of negative refraction.

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For more information contact Omar El Gawhary, oelgawhary@vsl.nl