Optical methods for characterization of surface structures on a nanometer scale

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When studying a sample with subwavelength features using conventional microscopy, the diffraction limit sets a lower bound to the resolution achievable. In this work the possiblity of circumventing the diffraction limit by employing a scanning near-field optical microscope (SNOM) to perform the characterization is investigated. Experimental SNOM images of the optical field distribution above a deep grating are analyzed with the purpose of identifying the grating topography, and transfer functions describing the coupling of the free-space field to the guided mode of the SNOM fiber are determined numerically.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007

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