We present experimental measurements and simulation of the spatial distribution of near-field light at the aperture of a Si micromachined near-field scanning optical microscopy (NSOM) probe. A miniature aperture at the apex of a SiO2 tip on a Si cantilever was fabricated with the low temperature oxidation and selective etching technique. An optical transmission efficiency (optical throughput) of the fabricated probe was determined to be approximately 10-2 when the aperture size was approximately 100 nm, which is several orders of magnitude higher than that for conventional optical fibers. A threedimensional finite difference time domain (FDTD) simulation shows that the near-field light is well confined within the aperture area with a throughput of 1% for a 100-nm aperture, which is in good agreement with the measurement. The spatial distribution of the near-field light at an aperture of 300-nm diameter shows a full width at half-maximum of 250 nm with a sharp peak that is nearly 60 nm wide. The 2.4% throughput for a 300-nm aperture was estimated based on the measured spatial distribution of the near-field light that is almost the same as the experimental result. We also present the initial results of the fabrication of high throughput coaxial and surface plasmon enhancement NSOM probes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Engineering (miscellaneous)
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering