Nonlinear plasmonics has attracted a lot of interests due to its wide applications. Recently, we demonstrated saturation and reverse saturation of scattering from a single plasmonic nanoparticle, which exhibits extremely narrow side lobes and central peaks in scattering images [ACS Photonics 1(1), 32 (2014)]. It is desirable to extract the reversed saturated part to further enhance optical resolution. However, such separation is not possible with conventional confocal microscope. Here we combine reverse saturable scattering and saturated excitation (SAX) microscopy. With quantitative analyses of amplitude and phase of SAX signals, unexpectedly high-order nonlinearities are revealed. Our result provides greatly reduced width in point spread function of scattering-based optical microscopy. It will find applications in not only nonlinear material analysis, but also high-resolution biomedical microscopy.
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