Recent advances in near-field optical microscopy1 have offered exciting possibilities for conducting molecular spectroscopy at the nanometer dimension. In particular, fluorescence detection of single chromophores and single proteins containing several chromophores have been achieved using this technique.2,3 For chemical analysis and biological applications, fluorescence measurements with near-field optics will be particularly informative, providing spectroscopic information not accessible with other scanning probe techniques, such as SEM, STM and AFM.

© 1994 Optical Society of America

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