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Phys Rev Lett. 2002 Nov 18;89(21):210801. Epub 2002 Oct 31.

Enhanced light confinement in a near-field optical probe with a triangular aperture.

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  • 1Physics Institute, Wilhelm-Klemm-Strasse 10, D-48149 Münster, Germany.


We present a probe concept for scanning near-field optical microscopy combining the excellent background suppression of aperture probes with the superior light confinement of apertureless probes. A triangular aperture at the tip of a tetrahedral waveguide (full taper angle approximately 90 degrees ) shows a strong field enhancement at only one rim when illuminated with light of suitable polarization. Compared to a circular aperture of equivalent size, the resolution capability is doubled without loss of brightness. For a approximately 60 nm sized triangular aperture, we measured an optical resolution <40 nm and a transmission of approximately 10(-4).

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