Comparison between microsphere-assisted and confocal microscopies

Arash Darafsheh, Nicholaos I. Limberopoulos, John S. Derov, Dennis E. Walker, Vasily N. Astratov

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We show that microsphere-assisted microscopy, where liquid-immersed barium titanate glass (n ∼ 1.9) beads with diameters of several microns are employed, has superior optical resolution compared to the confocal microscopy. The resolution advantage of microsphere-assisted microscopy stems from an ability of high-index microspheres to pick spatial distribution of optical near-fields produced by the plasmonic nanostructure used in our experiments. It is shown that an additional advantage of imaging through liquid-immersed microspheres is the ability to achieve high resolution imaging using microscope objectives with moderate numerical apertures. This means that microsphere-assisted microscopy can be performed with longer working distances compared to conventional or confocal microscopy. Super-resolution microscopy by using liquid-immersed microspheres can be potentially used in biomedical microscopy, microfluidics, and nanophotonics applications.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2013 15th International Conference on Transparent Optical Networks, ICTON 2013
StatePublished - 2013
Event2013 15th International Conference on Transparent Optical Networks, ICTON 2013 - Cartagena, Spain
Duration: Jun 23 2013Jun 27 2013

Publication series

NameInternational Conference on Transparent Optical Networks
ISSN (Electronic)2162-7339


Conference2013 15th International Conference on Transparent Optical Networks, ICTON 2013


  • Super-resolution
  • confocal
  • imaging
  • microscopy
  • photonic nanojet
  • subdiffraction resolution


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