Resolution of 90 nm (λ/5) in an optical transmission microscope with an annular condenser

Arnold Vainrub, Oleg Pustovyy, Vitaly Vodyanoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


Resolution of 90 nm was achieved with a research microscope simply by replacing the standard bright-field condenser with a homebuilt illumination system with a cardioid annular condenser. Diffraction gratings with 100 nm width lines as well as less than 100 nm size features of different-shaped objects were clearly visible on a calibrated microscope test slide. The resolution increase results from a known narrower diffraction pattern in coherent illumination for the annular aperture compared with the circular aperture. This explanation is supported by an excellent accord of calculated and measured diffraction patterns for a 50 nm radius disk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2855-2857
Number of pages3
JournalOptics Letters
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 1 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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