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Appl Opt. 1997 Apr 1;36(10):2171-7.

Image resolution in reflection scanning near-field optical microscopy using shear-force feedback: characterization with a spline and Fourier spectrum.


Scanning near-field optical microscopes (SNOM's) actually lead to nanometric lateral resolution. A combination with shear-force feedback is sometimes used to keep the SNOM tip at a constant force from the sample. However, resolutions in shear-force and optical data are different. An estimation of both resolutions is important for characterizing the capabilities of such systems. The basic principle of the measurement is to compare a spline-fitted logarithm of the power spectra calculated with the optical image with that of the shear force image in which resolution is determined a priori. Quantitative results are given in the case of periodic or untested sample and simulated data. Moreover the accuracy and the stability of the method are discussed.

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