The creation of new principles for the development of near-field probes in the last ten years has become a key aspect for the technological progress of near-field optics. The use of surface polaritons provides a new approach to the solution of this problem. Electromagnetic waves of this type can ensure not only an efficient energy channel along a near-field probe, but also good localization of the field at the end of the probe. © 2004 Optical Society of America

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