Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have developed a "hyperlens" that brings them one major step closer to the goal of nanoscale optical imaging. The new hyperlens, described in the Feb. 23 issue of the journal Science, is capable of projecting a magnified image of a pair of nanowires spaced 150 nanometers apart onto a plane up to a meter away.
Currently, to capture details down to a few nanometers, scientists must use scanning electron or atomic force microscopes, which create images by scanning objects point by point. Scanning electron microscopes can take up to several minutes to get an image. Because the object must remain immobile and in a vacuum during this process, imaging is restricted to non-living samples.