Imaging lies in the heart of many important applications in biology, medical sciences, security, and semiconductor industries. Conventional imaging methods are limited by the diffraction limit, and therefore cannot resolve features much smaller than the wavelength of the electromagnetic waves being used. Imaging beyond diffraction limit is therefore of special importance because of many applications ranging from biological imaging in the optical regime, to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at the radio frequencies. Superlens capable of imaging beyond diffraction limits are normally made from metamaterials – artificially engineered materials with unconventional optical properties. In this project, we propose to construct sub-diffractional imaging devices using a natural form of materials – magnetized plasma. Magnetized plasma with appropriately designed parameters supports nearly diffraction-less propagation of electromagnetic waves along the direction of the applied magnetic field, arising from the unbounded equi-frequency contour in the magnetized plasma. Such a unique feature can be utilized to replace metamaterials for sub-diffraction imaging devices as magnetic plasma do not require complex microfabrication techniques normally entailed by construction of metamaterials. More importantly, they can be dynamically reconfigured by tuning the applied magnetic field or the plasma density, and therefore they represent a facile and powerful route for imaging applications.
Fields of science
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