Here we demonstrate a novel surface plasmon polariton (SPP) microscope which is capable of imaging below the optical diffraction limit. A plasmonic lens, generated through phase-structured illumination, focuses SPPs down to their diffraction limit and scans the focus with steps as small as 10 nm. This plasmonic lens is implemented on a metallic nanostructure consisting of alternating hole array gratings and bare metal arenas. We use subwavelength scattering holes placed within the bare metal arenas to determine the resolution of our microscope. The resolution depends on the size of the scanning SPP focus. This novel technique has the potential for biomedical imaging microscopy, surface biology, and functionalization chemistry.

Phys. Rev. Lett.

Gjonaj, B., Aulbach, J., Johnson, P. M., Mosk, A., Kuipers, K., & Lagendijk, A. (2013). Focusing and scanning microscopy with propagating surface plasmons. Phys.Rev.Lett., 110(26, Article number: 266804), 1–5. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.110.266804