Near-field effects in single molecule emission

H. Gersen, M.F. Garcia Parajo, L. Novotny, J.A. Veerman, L. Kuipers, N.F. van Hulst

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We present the first experimental proof of the influence of a nearby nano-sized metal object o­n the angular photon emission by a single molecule. A novel angular sensitive detection scheme is implemented in an existing near-field scanning optical microscope (NSOM). The positioning accuracy (similar to1 nm) of the NSOM allows a systematic investigation of the intensity ratio between two different half-spaces as a function of the position of the metal-glass interfaces of the probe with respect to the single emitter. The observed effects are shown to be particularly strong for molecules that are excited mainly below the rims of the aperture. An excellent agreement is found between experiments and numerical simulations for these molecules. The observed angular redistribution of the angular emission of a single molecule could explain the alteration of the emission polarization observed for certain molecules in earlier experiments
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)374-378
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of microscopy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • IR-36493
  • METIS-202097

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