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Opt Express. 2006 Jun 12;14(12):5216-22.

Heating effects in tip-enhanced optical microscopy.


Finite element simulations of laser-induced heating in scanning probe microscopy are presented. The electromagnetic field is first simulated for a variety of tip and substrate materials, and for air and aqueous environments. This electromagnetic field, in the end of the tip and substrate under the tip, produces Joule heating. Using this Joule heat source, steady state thermal simulations are performed. As a result of the large enhancement of optical power by the tip-substrate cavity, predicted temperature rises can be over 3 orders of magnitude higher than the values predicted without a tip present, but the optical signal can be enhanced by over 10 orders. Gold tips and substrates are predicted to give the highest optical signal for a given temperature increase.

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