Sensing Sub-10 nm Wide Perturbations in Background Nanopatterns Using Optical Pseudoelectrodynamics Microscopy (OPEM)

Jinlong Zhu, Yanan Liu, Xin Yu, Renjie Zhou, Jian Ming Jin, Lynford L. Goddard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Using light as a probe to investigate perturbations with deep subwavelength dimensions in large-scale wafers is challenging because of the diffraction limit and the weak Rayleigh scattering. In this Letter, we report on a nondestructive noninterference far-field imaging method, which is built upon electrodynamic principles (mechanical work and force) of the light-matter interaction, rather than the intrinsic properties of light. We demonstrate sensing of nanoscale perturbations with sub-10 nm features in semiconductor nanopatterns. This framework is implemented using a visible-light bright-field microscope with a broadband source and a through-focus scanning apparatus. This work creates a new paradigm for exploring light-matter interactions at the nanoscale using microscopy that can potentially be extended to many other problems, for example, bioimaging, material analysis, and nanometrology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5347-5355
Number of pages9
JournalNano letters
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 14 2019



  • Nanoscale sensing
  • defect inspection
  • electrodynamics
  • nanotechnology
  • optical microscopy
  • semiconductors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering

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