Photoplastic near-field optical probe with sub-100 nm aperture made by replication from a nanomould

G.M. Kim, B.J. Kim, E.S. ten Have, Franciscus B. Segerink, N.F. van Hulst, J.P. Brugger

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Polymers have the ability to conform to surface contours down to a few nanometres. We studied the filling of transparent epoxy-type EPON SU-8 into nanoscale apertures made in a thin metal film as a new method for polymer/metal near-field optical structures. Mould replica processes combining silicon micromachining with the photo-curable SU-8 offer great potential for low-cost nanostructure fabrication. In addition to offering a route for mass production, the transparent pyramidal probes are expected to improve light transmission thanks to a wider geometry near the aperture. By combining silicon MEMS, mould geometry tuning by oxidation, anti-adhesion coating by self-assembled monolayer and mechanical release steps, we propose an advanced method for near-field optical probe fabrication. The major improvement is the possibility to fabricate nanoscale apertures directly o­n wafer scale during the microfabrication process and not o­n free-standing tips. Optical measurements were performed with the fabricated probes. The full width half maximum after a Gaussian fit of the intensity profile indicates a lateral optical resolution of approximate to 60 nm.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)267-271
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of microscopy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • NSOM
  • Self-assembled monolayer
  • nanomould
  • Micro-fabrication
  • IR-40497
  • SU-8
  • METIS-211720

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