Double moiré localized plasmon structured illumination microscopy
Structured illumination microscopy (SIM) is a well-established fluorescence imaging technique, which can increase spatial resolution by up to a factor of two. This article reports on a new way to extend the capabilities of structured illumination microscopy, by combining ideas from the fields of illumination engineering and nanophotonics. In this technique, plasmonic arrays of hexagonal symmetry are illuminated by two obliquely incident beams originating from a single laser. The resulting interference between the light grating and plasmonic grating creates a wide range of spatial frequencies above the microscope passband, while still preserving the spatial frequencies of regular SIM. To systematically investigate this technique and to contrast it with regular SIM and localized plasmon SIM, we implement a rigorous simulation procedure, which simulates the near-field illumination of the plasmonic grating and uses it in the subsequent forward imaging model. The inverse problem, of obtaining a super-resolution (SR) image from multiple low-resolution images, is solved using a numerical reconstruction algorithm while the obtained resolution is quantitatively assessed. The results point at the possibility of resolution enhancements beyond regular SIM, which rapidly vanishes with the height above the grating. In an initial experimental realization, the existence of the expected spatial frequencies is shown and the performance of compatible reconstruction approaches is compared. Finally, we discuss the obstacles of experimental implementations that would need to be overcome for artifact-free SR imaging.