Submicron Remote Imaging using Specialty Fiber Coupled Hyperlens
Natalia Litchinitser Principal Investigator
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The objective of this research is to develop a fiber-based endoscopic device with a metamaterial hyperlens at the end of the fiber, providing submicron resolution imaging for in-vivo diagnostics. The approach includes 1) theoretical design and experimental demonstration of a fiber-based hyperlens, 2) demonstration of transmission of high resolution images through a single fiber with an optimized design, and 3) identification of low-loss plasmonic materials for hyperlens fabrication to address the fundamental issue of losses that hinders the performance of optical metamaterials.<br/><br/>Intellectual merit: Remote in-vivo endoscopic optical imaging plays a key role in the area of minimally invasive medicine. It is particularly critical for advancing the field of gastroenterology and oncology. The proposed research is transformative in nature as it will 1) advance fundamental knowledge of sub-wavelength imaging using metamaterial fiber-based structures, 2) address the critical need for a high resolution endoscopic imaging device by combining unique properties of metamaterials and specialty fibers, and 3) identify novel low-loss plasmonic materials for practical metamaterial devices.<br/><br/>Broader impacts: The ability to rapidly and noninvasively image biological substances and tisssues with sub-wavelength resolution without biopsy, sectioning, or staining would be an extremely useful tool that would revolutionize many fields from clinical diagnostics to pharmaceutical manufacturing. The proposed system could lend itself to single molecule spectroscopy and enable new approaches to multimodal remote sensing. The proposed education and outreach program will contribute to the preparation and training of graduate and undergraduate students, including underrepresented minorities and women, K-12 students and high school teachers.