Abstract

We analyze two basic aspects of a scanning near-field optical microscope (SNOM) probe's operation: (i) spot-size evolution of the electric field along the probe with and without a metal layer, and (ii) a modal analysis of the SNOM probe, particularly in close proximity to the aperture. A slab waveguide model is utilized to minimize the analytical complexity, yet provides useful quantitative results—including losses associated with the metal coating—which can then be used as design rules.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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