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Still Waters

Scientists develop optical ruler

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Still Waters

Scientists at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) have developed a new way to measure distances at the nanoscale—one nanometer being one billionth of a meter—using light.

Devices that use light to see objects, such as microscopes, have a fundamental limitation based on the laws of physics, which is their resolving power.

The smallest distance that optical devices can reliably image is equal to half the wavelength of the light used, known as the "diffraction limit."

The diffraction limit is therefore above 400 nanometers, about half the wavelength of near infrared light. This is some 250 times smaller than the width of a human hair (100 microns).

https://phys.org/news/2019-09-scientists-optical-ruler-nanoscale.html

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