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High Resolution Capabilities of All-Silica Cantilevered Probes for Near-Field Optical Microscopy

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We report on the possibility of performing Near-field Scanning Optical Microscopy in illumination mode by means of microfabricated, metal-coated silica probes based on transparent cantilevers. A low spring constant silica cantilever hosts a silica tip at its end showing an hyperbolic profile and a circular symmetry. After evaporation of 100 nm of aluminium on the tip and the cantilever we processed the tip apex by means of a FIB, thus obtaining either a probe apex with an optical aperture or an apertureless probe having a thin metal layer on the top. An excellent quality of near-field images of samples showing sub-wavelength features is obtained in both case. In particular, the apertureless probe allows highly resolved topographical and optical images to be collected at the same time. This work further demonstrates that the use of completely transparent, metal-coated cantilevers greatly simplify the light injection into the probe and the fabrication process consequently.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2009-11-01

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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