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Super-Resolution Imaging by Scanning Near-Field Optical Microscopy with Microfabricated Probes

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Abstract:

Scanning near-field optical microscopy offers optical imaging with a resolution below the diffraction limit of λ/2. An introduction into the concept is given and its implementation into a real instrument illustrated. The most crucial part of the instrumentation is the optical near-field probe. Our efforts concerning near-field imaging with microfabricated cantilevered probe sare reviewed. The probes are silicon beams with solid quartz tip, which is completely covered with a 60-nm thick layer of aluminum. The demonstrated contrast mechanisms comprise transmission and fluorescence. In the latter case an artifact free ‘true’ optical resolution of 32 nm is shown. The influence of the polarization on the optical resolution is discussed. Best performance is achieved, when directly transmitted linear polarized is blocked and only components of radial polarized light, which originates from a supported eigenmode of the probe, is detected.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-01-01

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