Ultrathin Layered Hyperbolic Metamaterial-Assisted Illumination Nanoscopy

Yeon Ui Lee, Zhaoyu Nie, Shilong Li, Charles Henri Lambert, Junxiang Zhao, Fan Yang, G. Bimananda M. Wisna, Sui Yang, Xiang Zhang, Zhaowei Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Metamaterial-assisted illumination nanoscopy (MAIN) has been proven to be a promising approach for super-resolution microscopy with up to a 7-fold improvement in imaging resolution. Further resolution enhancement is possible in principle, however, has not yet been demonstrated due to the lack of high-quality ultrathin layered hyperbolic metamaterials (HMMs) used in the MAIN. Here, we fabricate a low-loss composite HMM consisting of high-quality bilayers of Al-doped Ag and MgO with a nominal thickness of 2.5 nm, and then use it to demonstrate an ultrathin layered hyperbolic metamaterial-assisted illumination nanoscopy (ULH-MAIN) with a 14-fold imaging resolution improvement. This improvement of resolution is achieved in fluorescent beads super-resolution experiments and verified with scanning electron microscopy. The ULH-MAIN presents a simple super-resolution imaging approach that offers distinct benefits such as low illumination power, low cost, and a broad spectrum of selectable probes, making it ideal for dynamic imaging of life science samples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5916-5921
Number of pages6
JournalNano Letters
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 27 2022


  • Hyperbolic metamaterials
  • Metamaterial assisted illumination
  • Metamaterials
  • Nanoscopy
  • Structured illumination microscopy
  • Super-resolution microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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