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J Microsc. 2001 Apr;202(Pt 1):12-5.

Microfabricated silicon dioxide cantilever with subwavelength aperture.

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Seiko Instruments Inc., 563 Takatsuka-Shinden, Matsudo-shi, Chiba 270-2222, Japan.


We have developed a microfabricated SiO2 cantilever with subwavelength aperture for scanning near-field optical microscopy (SNOM), to overcome the disadvantages of conventional optical fibre probes such as low reproducibility and low optical throughput. The microcantilever, which has a SiO2 cantilever and an aperture tip near the end of the cantilever, is fabricated in a reproducible batch process. The circular aperture with a diameter of 100-150 nm is formed by a focused ion-beam technique. Incident light is directly focused on the aperture from the rear side of the cantilever using a focusing objective, and high optical throughput (10(-2) to 10(-3)) is obtained. The microcantilever can be operated as a SNOM probe in contact mode or in dynamic mode.

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