Superresolution imaging via linear optics in the far-field regime

Lead Research Organisation: University of Oxford
Department Name: Oxford Physics

Abstract

Rayleigh's criterion defines the minimum resolvable distance between two incoherent point sources as the diffraction-limited spot size. Enhancing the resolution beyond this limit has been a crucial outstanding problem for many years. A number of solutions have been realized; however, all of them so far relied either on near-field or nonlinear-optical probing, which makes them invasive, expensive and not universally applicable. It would therefore be desirable to find an imaging technique that is both linear-optical and operational in the far-field regime. A recent theoretical breakthrough demonstrated that "Rayleigh's curse" can be resolved by coherent detection the image in certain transverse electromagnetic modes, rather than implementing the traditional imaging procedure, which consists in measuring the incoherent intensity distribution over the image plane. To date, there exist proof-of-principle experimental results demonstrating the plausibility of this approach. The objective of the project is to test this approach in a variety of settings that are relevant for practical application, evaluate its advantages and limitations. If successful, it will result in a revolutionary imaging technology with a potential to change the faces of all fields of science and technology that involve optical imaging, including astronomy, biology, medicine and nanotechnology, as well as optomechanical industry.

This project falls under the EPSRC Quantum optics and information theme

Publications

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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R513295/1 01/10/2018 30/09/2023
2285090 Studentship EP/R513295/1 01/10/2019 30/03/2023 James Edward Spall