Manual Near-Field Optics: Theory, Instrumentation, and Applications

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Feedback mechanisms are usually used to achieve high resolution and artifact free images since the detector must be positioned within a few nanometers of the surfaces. Some of these mechanisms are:. It is possible to take advantage of the various contrast techniques available to optical microscopy through NSOM but with much higher resolution.


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By using the change in the polarization of light or the intensity of the light as a function of the incident wavelength, it is possible to make use of contrast enhancing techniques such as staining , fluorescence , phase contrast and differential interference contrast. It is also possible to provide contrast using the change in refractive index, reflectivity, local stress and magnetic properties amongst others.

Scanning near-field optical microscopy: In the lab with Pablo Alonso

The primary components of an NSOM setup are the light source, feedback mechanism, the scanning tip, the detector and the piezoelectric sample stage. The light source is usually a laser focused into an optical fiber through a polarizer , a beam splitter and a coupler.

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The polarizer and the beam splitter would serve to remove stray light from the returning reflected light. The scanning tip, depending upon the operation mode, is usually a pulled or stretched optical fiber coated with metal except at the tip or just a standard AFM cantilever with a hole in the center of the pyramidal tip. As the name implies, information is collected by spectroscopic means instead of imaging in the near field regime.

Some of the common near-field spectroscopic techniques are:.

NSOM: Discovering New Worlds

NSOM could be vulnerable to artifacts that are not from the intended contrast mode. The most common root for artifacts in NSOM are tip breakage during scanning, striped contrast, displaced optical contrast, local far field light concentration, and topographic artifacts.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. University of Notre Dame.


  1. Near-Field Optics: Theory, Instrumentation, and Applications.
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  7. Introduction to Near-Field Optics 2. Optical Tunneling Microscopes 7. Amplitude and Phase Nonvisible Wavelength Instruments Related Techniques and Unusual Configurations Conclusions and Future Directions.

    Near-field scanning optical microscope - Wikipedia

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    Open to the public. At the University's Precision Engineering Center he heads a group that exploits the near-field microscope's ability to provide spectral and temporal contrast. He has explored the optical performance and fabrication of tapered optical fibers as well as the theory of the behavior of light in the near-field. A former researcher with TopoMetrix of Santa Clara, California, he was the chief scientist responsible for the design and development of the first commercially available near-field scanning optical microscope.