Building practical apertureless scanning near-field microscopy

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University of Alabama Libraries

The fundamental objective of this study is to establish a functional, practical apertureless type scanning near-field optical microscope, and to figure out the working mechanism behind it. Whereas a far-field microscope can measure the propagating field’s components, this gives us little information about the features of the sample. The resolution is limited to about half of the wavelength of the illuminating light. On the other hand, the a-SNOM system enables achieving non-propagating components of the field, which provides more details about the sample’s features. It is really difficult to measure because the amplitude of this field decays exponentially when the tip is moved away from the sample. The sharpness of the tip is the only limitation for resolution of the a-SNOM system. Consequently, the sharp tips are achieved by using electrochemical etching, and these tips are used to detect near-field signal. Separating the weak a-SNOM system signals from the undesired background signal, the higher demodulation background suppression is utilized by lock-in detection.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Nanotechnology, Electromagnetics, Optics