Differential near-field scanning optical microscopy using sensor arrays

Aydogan Ozcan, Ertugrul Cubukcu, Alberto Bilenca, Brett E. Bouma, Federico Capasso, Guillermo J. Tearney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


In this paper, we introduce a new aperture-type near-field scanning optical microscopy (NSOM) imaging concept that relies on specially designed large-area (e.g., $200$ nm $,\×,$200 nm) aperture geometries having sharp corners. Unlike in conventional NSOM, the spatial resolution of this near-field imaging modality is not determined by the size of the aperture, but rather by the sharpness of the corners of the large aperture. This approach significantly improves the light throughput of the near-field probe and, hence, increases the SNR. Here, we discuss the basic concepts of this near-field microscopy approach and illustrate both theoretically and experimentally how an array of detectors can be utilized to further improve the SNR of the near-field image. The results of this work are particularly relevant for imaging of biological samples at a spatial resolution of $ 50$ nm with significantly improved image quality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1721-1729
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Differential NSOM (DNSOM)
  • Near-field imaging
  • Near-field scanning optical microscopy (NSOM)
  • SNOM


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