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Nano Lett. 2011 Mar 9;11(3):1201-7. doi: 10.1021/nl104163m. Epub 2011 Jan 24.

Hyperspectral nanoscale imaging on dielectric substrates with coaxial optical antenna scan probes.

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  • 1Molecular Foundry, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory , One Cyclotron Road, Berkeley, California 94720, United States.


We have demonstrated hyperspectral tip-enhanced Raman imaging on dielectric substrates using linearly polarized light and nanofabricated coaxial antenna tips. A full Raman spectrum was acquired at each pixel of a 256 by 256 pixel contact-mode atomic force microscope image of carbon nanotubes grown on a fused silica microscope coverslip, allowing D and G mode intensity and D-mode peak shifts to be measured with ∼20 nm spatial resolution. Tip enhancement was sufficient to acquire useful Raman spectra in 50-100 ms. Coaxial scan probes combine the efficiency and enhanced, ultralocalized optical fields of plasmonically coupled antennae with the superior topographical imaging properties of sharp metal tips. The yield of the coaxial tip fabrication process is close to 100%, and the tips are sufficiently durable to support hours of contact-mode force microscope imaging. Our coaxial probes avoid the limitations associated with the "gap-mode" imaging geometry used in most tip-enhanced Raman studies to date, where a sharp metal tip is held ∼1 nm above a metallic substrate with the sample located in the gap.

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