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A team at Northwestern University designed a high-numerical aperture metalens and fabricated it on an optical fiber tip, using a set of processes that establishes an alternate path for optical nanoparticle trapping and other imaging applications that use photonic devices. The researchers used 3D nanoprinting and inverse-design rather than a conventional direct laser writing (DLW) system, which can be expensive and faces practical limitations.
The metalens that the team produced had a focal length of about 8 μm at an operating wavelength of 980 nm and an optimized focal spot at the scale of 100 nm. Those values, the researchers said, created a metalens platform that is suitable for two-photon direct laser lithography.