Visualizable detection of nanoscale objects using anti-symmetric excitation and non-resonance amplification

Jinlong Zhu, Aditi Udupa, Lynford L. Goddard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Why can we not see nanoscale objects under a light microscope? The textbook answers are that their relative signals are weak and their separation is smaller than Abbe’s resolution limit. Thus, significant effort has gone into developing ultraviolet imaging, oil and solid immersion objectives, nonlinear methods, fluorescence dyes, evanescent wave tailoring, and point-spread function engineering. In this work, we introduce a new optical sensing framework based on the concepts of electromagnetic canyons and non-resonance amplification, to directly view on a widefield microscope λ/31-scale (25-nm radius) objects in the near-field region of nanowire-based sensors across a 726-μm × 582-μm field of view. Our work provides a simple but highly efficient framework that can transform conventional diffraction-limited optical microscopes for nanoscale visualization. Given the ubiquity of microscopy and importance of visualizing viruses, molecules, nanoparticles, semiconductor defects, and other nanoscale objects, we believe our proposed framework will impact many science and engineering fields.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2754
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • General
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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