Metamaterials have recently shown great potential in novel lens designsthat allow imaging with resolution beyond the classical limit of diffraction. Hereits potential for ultrahigh-resolution fluorescent microscopy will be examinedwith numerical analysis. Different structures based on surface-plasmon-polariton excitation on thin metallic films have been examined with even anduneven distributions of surface scattering elements. The results obtained showthat indeed a resolution beyond the diffraction limit can be obtained with thenovel metamaterial lens designs. This has particular importance in weak signalfluorescent imaging of biomaterials and possibly for nano-toxicity analyses.Significant progress has been made in the development of sub-diffractionfluorescence microscopy methods that enable images recorded in the far fieldto possess resolution down to the nanometer scale. These methods includestimulated emission depletion and its related reversible saturable opticalfluorescent transition microscopy, stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy,structured illumination microscopy, and photoactivated localizationmicroscopy. However these techniques have limitations requiring either time-consuming point-by-point scanning or the accumulation of large data sets,which prevents them from reaching real-time imaging applications.The application of new lens technology made from metamaterials holdspromise for real-time sub-diffraction fluorescence imaging. A metamaterial is amaterial that gains its properties from its structure rather than directly from itscomposition. In the ideal case unlimited high resolution in the far field hasbeen found in a theoretical work . Such lenses have been termed
„superlenses‟ or „hyperlenses‟ and are typically made with alternating layers of
materials with careful chosen indices of refraction and dimensions [2, 3].Recently, they have been applied to optical microscopy and far-fieldtransmission based imaging with a spatial resolution of <100nm has beendemonstrated [2, 3].