A local research team developed a nano-optic lens that lets people see objects smaller than 160 nm in size, about 625 times smaller than a human hair.
The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute’s Creative Research Center Graphene Electronics team led by Choi Choon-gi announced on April 28 that their research was published in the global academic journal “Nanoscale”, published by the Royal Society of Chemistry. The team proved that by using a platinum-coated carbon nanotube lens and shooting a 532 nm green light, the shape of two bars 160 nm apart can be clearly seen.
With current optic microscopes, even at maximum magnification, due to the limitation of the light, objects of under 200 nm in size (500 times smaller than a human hair) cnnot be seen.
Also, in case of an electron microscope or X-ray, the specimen needs to be cut or coated to be observed rendering it impossible to reuse.
However, this research opened the way to see objects the size of 160 nm without processing it, igniting further development in nano-scale research. Also, on the back of the newly-developed technology, it will be possible to get one step closer to seeing a molecular structure with the naked eye.
However, its commercialization will take time, in that there is a need to secure further technology that enables one to see shapes other than bars.