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Environmentally robust immersion supercritical lens with an invariable sub-diffraction-limited focal spot

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Abstract

Planar metalenses provide an effective way to break the diffraction barrier in the far field. Their physical mechanism and applications have been intensively studied in the past decade. These investigations on sub-diffraction-limited light modulations have only been applied to specified single immersion environments; however, changing immersion environments can severely degrade their focusing performance, limiting their application potential. In this work, we propose and experimentally demonstrate an environmentally robust immersion supercritical lens (SCL) that can work in various immersion environments. The design of such a lens is based on the vectorial Rayleigh–Sommerfeld diffraction theory combined with a multi-objective optimization algorithm. The sub-diffraction-limited focusing effect has been experimentally demonstrated in commonly used media, including air, water, and oil, with refractive indices of 1.0, 1.33, and 1.51, respectively. Moreover, such a lens can maintain its effective numerical aperture at a fixed value, bringing a unique advantage in that the lateral size of the focal spots exhibits a similar value of ${{317}}\;{{\pm}}\;{{7}}\;{\rm{nm}}$ in all three media. Our demonstration provides the feasibility of SCLs in various application scenarios with multi-immersion environments, such as bioimaging, light trapping, and optical storage.

© 2021 Optical Society of America

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