Abstract

A dispersive body-of-revolution finite-difference time-domain method is developed to simulate metal-cladded near-field scanning optical microscope (NSOM) probes. Two types of NSOM probe (aperture and plasmon NSOM probes) are analyzed and designed with this fast method. The influence of the metal-cladding thickness and the excitation mode on the performance of the NSOM probes is studied. We introduce a new scheme of illumination-mode NSOM by employing the plasmon NSOM probe with the TM01 mode excitation. Such a NSOM probe is designed, and we demonstrate its advantages over the conventional aperture NSOM probe by scanning across a metallic object.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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