Near-field optical microscopy in transmission and reflection modes in combination with force microscopy

N.F. van Hulst, M.H.P. Moers, B. Bölger

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Abstract

Near‐field optical microscopy is the optical alternative of the various types of scanning probe microscopes. The technique overcomes the classical diffraction limit in conventional optical microscopy. In this paper the concepts of near‐field optics (NFO) are introduced, followed by a short review of current trends in NFO microscopy. Specifically, developments concerning the efficiency and versatility of both aperture and dielectric probe types are discussed. We present our advances in NFO microscopy, using both fibres and integrated silicon nitride (SiN) structures as dielectric probes. The use of an SiN probe as a combined optical and force sensor is shown to be advantageous, as it provides a feedback mechanism and allows direct comparison between topography and dielectric effects. Images of technical and biological samples are presented with a lateral resolution down to 20 nm, depending on the microscopical arrangement used.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-105
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of microscopy
Volume171
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1993

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