Abstract: Diffractive approaches are needed when refractive microlenses reach their focusing limit at the micron-scale in visible light. Previously, we have reported on micron-sized optical lenses based on the diffraction of metallic nanowires. Here, we extend our study to lenses based on pairs of subwavelength dielectric scatterers. Using simulations by two-dimensional finite element method, we demonstrate that focusing holds for pair spacings as small as the wavelength-size. For pairs with distances between inner walls larger than about 1.2λ, the scattered waves generate a quadratic phase modulation on the total propagating field leading to a diffraction-limited focusing i.e. an effective optical lens effect with high numerical aperture. In addition, they have low sidelobe intensities, long depths of focus, and they have a low sensitivity with polarization. For pairs with inner wall distances smaller than about 1.2λ, the focusing phase modulation is accumulated during the propagation through the dielectric pair structure. In this work, we report only on the experimental demonstration for the case of larger wall separation to emphasize on the scattered wave effect on micro-focusing. A pair of parallel polymer lines (cylindrical lens), and a grid of polymer lines (square microlens array) with 2 μm-spacing were fabricated by two-photon induced polymerization. Their focal lengths are comparable to their separating distances, their spot-sizes are 0.37 μm and 0.28 μm at wavelength 530 nm, and their focusing efficiencies are 70% and 60%, respectively.
Publisher/link to publication: Nanophotonics. 2019;8(6):1051-61