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Affordable Super Resolution Imaging

LIG Nanowise is an optics company who build microsphere-enabled lenses for industry applications.

The resolution of an optical microscope is limited to 250nm by the diffraction limit of light. With LIG Nanowise’s SMAL (Super-resolution Microsphere Amplifying Lens) technology, a microsphere is incorporated into a spherical front lens. Imaging through this ‘meta-lens’ increases the resolution by up to 4x, resolving features down to 50mm in size. This “super resolution” resolves features well beyond the optical diffraction limit, in full colour and in real time using nothing but optics and white light.

A new way of seeing

SMAL pushes light past its theoretical limit. It redefines the smallest object the eye can see yet is an accessible and easy to use technique. It does not require a clean room, a huge power supply, complex sample preparation or significant training.

Another key benefit of LIG Nanowise’s microscopes is that they do not cost the earth! For university, start-up or multi-national, super resolution imaging is accessible. SMAL microscopes are purely optical and so are non-destructive allowing a sample to be imaged multiple times without compromising its integrity. The microscopes work with both metallic and non-metallic samples.

Semiconductor Failure Analysis

SMAL is the ideal solution for rapid sub-diffraction limit images of microprocessors during the design stage and for failure analysis. It can rapidly inspect electrical faults <100nm without sputtering or coating and without the need for specific environmental conditions.

SMAL gives a 4-6x increase in magnification and resolution over conventional optical microscopes. It can also increase the depth of field to 2 microns.

Super Resolution Imaging

Low cost nano-patterning

Current patterning techniques that use near-field optics to generate surface features below 100mm share two major disadvantages. For industries such as microelectronics, these are low throughput and the need for sophisticated distance–control equipment.

LIG Nanowise’s nanoglyph technology combines a microsphere lens array (MLA) with a high power laser beam and a custom software kit. Made to your specification, the MLA converts the single incident laser beam into multiple focussed beam spots (down to 30nm resolution). Each spot generates a feature on the substrate surface simultaneously.

High speed, low cost nano-patterning is the end result. Nano-sized features are generated in parallel; typically several million identical patterns in a few seconds. The custom software allows users to define the patterns and the process is fully automatic with multi-axis motion control.

LIG Nanowise are now one of TLM’s product partners. For more information about the company’s SMAL and nanoglyph technologies and details on NANOPSIS microscope solutions, please contact