A novel 2D imaging method for permittivity imaging using a meta-structure with a functional scanning defect is proposed, working in the millimeter wave-range. The meta-structure we used here is composed of a perforated metal plate with subwavelength-holes and a needle-like conductor that can scan two-dimensionally just beneath the plate. The metal plate, which is referred to as a metal hole array (MHA) in this study, is known as a structure supporting propagation of spoof surface plasmon polaritons (SSPPs). High-frequency waves with frequencies higher than microwaves, including SSPPs, have the potential to detect signals from inner parts embedded beneath solid surfaces such as living cells or organs under the skin, without physical invasion, because of the larger skin depth penetration of millimeter wave-bands than optical wave-bands. Focused on activated SSPPs, the localized distortion of SSPP modes on an MHA is used in the proposed method to scan the electromagnetic properties of the MHA with a needle-like conductor (conductive probe), which is a kind of active defect-initiator. To show the validity of the proposed method, electromagnetic analyses of the localized distortions of wave fields were performed, and one- and two-dimensional imaging experiments were conducted with the aim of detecting both conductive and dielectric samples. The analytical results confirmed the localized distortion of the electric field distribution of SSPP modes and also indicated that the proposed method has scanning ability. In experimental studies, the detection of conductive and dielectric samples was successful, where the detected dielectrics contained pseudo-biological materials, with an accuracy on the order of millimeters. Finally, a biomedical diagnosis in the case of a rat lung is demonstrated by using the experimental system. These results indicate that the proposed method may be usable for non-invasive and low-risk biomedical diagnosis.
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