Abstract

We propose a novel, to our knowledge, silicon planar-apertured probe array as an optical head for high-density near-field optical storage. In comparison with a conventional fiber probe employed for near-field optical storage the apertured probe array has a higher readout data-transmission rate and better mechanical durability. A probe array with an aperture size of 100 nm was fabricated by use of photolithography and wet etching of a silicon wafer. Subwavelength-readout capability was demonstrated by use of one aperture of the probe array. Furthermore, we achieved a 16 times increase in the light-transmission efficiency of the probe array by installing glass-sphere microlenses on each aperture. The increase was confirmed by measurement of the near-field optical intensity.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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