In traditional optical spectroscopy, the probing field is much broader than the quantum nanostructure being probed. In near-field optical microscopy (NSOM), the probe field from the coated fiber-tip source is typically less than 100 nra wide, smaller than or comparable to the size of the quantum nanostructure. The traditional selection rules that determine the allowed optical transitions for a sample probed by a far-field source need not apply when the sample is probed by a near-field localized source. To understand how NSOM can be used to probe quantum nanostructures with much greater resolution and to access different transitions, one must understand how select ion-rule breaking occurs and what additional information can be obtained.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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