Corrugated SNOM probe with enhanced energy throughput
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In a previous paper we proposed a modification of metal-coated tapered-fibre aperture probes for scanning near-field optical microscopes (SNOMs). The modification consists in radial corrugations of the metal-dielectric interface oriented inward the core. Their purpose is to facilitate the excitation of surface plasmons, which increase the transport of energy beyond the cut-off diameter and radiate a quasi-dipolar field from the probe output rim. An increase in energy output allows for reduction of the apex diameter, which is the main factor determining the resolution of the microscope. In two-dimensional finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) simulations we analyse the performance of the new type of SNOM probe. We admit, however, that the two-dimensional approximation gives better results than expected from exact three-dimensional ones. Nevertheless, optimisation of enhanced energy throughput in corrugated probes should lead to at least twice better resolution with the same sensitivity of detectors available nowadays.
Keywordsscanning near-field optical microscope - SNOM SNOM resolution SNOM probes photon-plasmon coupling tapered-fibre metal-coated corrugated SNOM probes
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