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Abstract: For over a century diffraction theory has been thought to limit theresolution of focusing and imaging in the optical domain. The size of thesmallest spot achievable is inversely proportional to the range of spatialwavevectors available. Here, we show that it is possible to locally beat thediffraction limit at the expense of efficiency. The method is based on thelinearity of Maxwell-s equations and that the interaction between light and itssurroundings may be considered quadratic in nature with respect to theelectromagnetic fields. We represent the intensity and spot size as a quadraticmeasure with associated eigenmodes. Using a dynamic diffractive opticalelement, we demonstrate optical focussing to an area 4 times smaller than thediffraction limit. The generic method may be applied to numerous physicalphenomena relating to linear and measurable properties of the electromagneticfield that can be expressed in a quadratic form.

Autor: Michael Mazilu, Joerg Baumgartl, Kishan Dholakia


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