Abstract

Near-field photodetection optical microscopy (NPOM) is a scanning probe technique that has been developed to perform nanometer-scale optical intensity mapping and spectroscopy. In NPOM a nanometer-scale photodiode detector absorbs power directly as it is scanned in the near field of an illuminated sample surface. A model of photodetection in the near and intermediate fields is presented. A brief review of far-field absorption is given for comparison. Far-field absorption measurements measure the imaginary part of the polarizability to first order. In contrast, photodetection in the near field measures the real part of the polarizability. Other aspects of near-field photodetection are also examined, including contrast mechanisms and lateral resolution. NPOM measurements performed on isolated 300-nm spheres show good agreement with the theory.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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