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Phys Rev Lett. 2007 Jan 26;98(4):043905. Epub 2007 Jan 25.

Far-field generation of localized light fields using absorbance modulation.

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  • 1Research Laboratory of Electronics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.


In this Letter, we report the confinement of a uniform beam of light (lambda(1) = 400 nm) at the nodes of a standing wave (lambda(2) = 532 nm) via absorbance modulation. In the present implementation of absorbance modulation, a thin polymer film containing a photochromic azobenzene side chain is exposed to a standing wave at lambda(2) and a uniform beam at lambda(1), resulting in alternate regions of high and low absorbance. Light at lambda(1) is localized around the low-absorbance regions. Using photoresist exposures, we mapped out the localized light intensity distribution, which agrees well with our theoretical model. Since the width of this distribution is primarily determined by the ratio of the intensities at the two wavelengths, this technique opens up the possibility of localizing light fields below the diffraction limit using far-field optics.

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