Resolution of 90 nm (λ/5) in an optical transmission microscope with an annular condenser

Arnold Vainrub, Oleg Pustovyy, Vitaly Vodyanoy

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    95 Scopus citations


    Resolution of 90 nm was achieved with a research microscope simply by replacing the standard bright-field condenser with a homebuilt illumination system with a cardioid annular condenser. Diffraction gratings with 100 nm width lines as well as less than 100 nm size features of different-shaped objects were clearly visible on a calibrated microscope test slide. The resolution increase results from a known narrower diffraction pattern in coherent illumination for the annular aperture compared with the circular aperture. This explanation is supported by an excellent accord of calculated and measured diffraction patterns for a 50 nm radius disk.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)2855-2857
    Number of pages3
    JournalOptics Letters
    Issue number19
    StatePublished - Oct 1 2006

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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