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A fully automated dual-tip scanning near-field optical microscope for localized optical excitation and detection in the visible and near-infrared

: Abbasirad, N.; Berzins, J.; Kollin, K.; Saravi, S.; Janunts, N.; Setzpfandt, F.; Pertsch, T.


Review of scientific instruments 90 (2019), No.5, Art. 053705, 8 pp.
ISSN: 0034-6748
ISSN: 1089-7623
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IOF ()

Near-field optical microscopes with two independent tips for simultaneous excitation and detection can be essential tools for studying localized optical phenomena on the subwavelength scale. Here, we report on the implementation of a fully automated and robust dual-tip scanning near-field optical microscope (SNOM), in which the excitation tip is stationary, while the detection tip automatically scans the surrounding area. To monitor and control the distance between the two probes, mechanical interactions due to shear forces are used. We experimentally investigate suitable scan parameters and find that the automated dual-tip SNOM can operate stably for a wide range of parameters. To demonstrate the potential of the automated dual-tip SNOM, we characterize the propagation of surface plasmon polaritons on a gold film for visible and near-infrared wavelengths. The good agreement of the measurements with numerical simulations verifies the capability of the dual-tip SNOM for the near-field characterization of localized optical phenomena.