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J Microsc. 2003 Jun;210(Pt 3):220-4.

Plasmon-coupled tip-enhanced near-field optical microscopy.

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  • 1The Institute of Optics, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627, USA.


Near the cut-off radius of a guided waveguide mode of a metal-coated glass fibre tip it is possible to couple radiation to surface plasmons propagating on the outside surface of the metal coating. These surface plasmons converge toward the apex of the tip and interfere constructively for particular polarization states of the initial waveguide mode. Calculations show that a radially polarized waveguide mode can create a strong field enhancement localized at the apex of the tip. The highly localized enhanced field forms a nanoscale optical near-field source.

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