Frontiers of Physics

, 11:117804 | Cite as

A polarizing situation: Taking an in-plane perspective for next-generation near-field studies

  • P. James SchuckEmail author
  • Wei Bao
  • Nicholas J. Borys
Open Access
Review Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Special Topic: Frontiers of Plasmonics


By enabling the probing of light–matter interactions at the functionally relevant length scales of most materials, near-field optical imaging and spectroscopy accesses information that is unobtainable with other methods. The advent of apertureless techniques, which exploit the ultralocalized and enhanced near-fields created by sharp metallic tips or plasmonic nanoparticles, has resulted in rapid adoption of near-field approaches for studying novel materials and phenomena, with spatial resolution approaching sub-molecular levels. However, these approaches are generally limited by the dominant out-of-plane polarization response of apertureless tips, restricting the exploration and discovery of many material properties. This has led to recent design and fabrication breakthroughs in near-field tips engineered specifically for enhancing in-plane interactions with near-field light components. This mini-review provides a perspective on recent progress and emerging directions aimed at utilizing and controlling in-plane optical polarization, highlighting key application spaces where in-plane near-field tip responses have enabled recent advancements in the understanding and development of new nanostructured materials and devices.


near-field optical microscopy nano-optics TERS plasmonics optical antenna 2D materials 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. James Schuck
    • 1
    Email author
  • Wei Bao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Nicholas J. Borys
    • 1
  1. 1.Molecular FoundryLawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.Department of Materials Science and EngineeringUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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