This paper discusses the main methods of fabricating nanosize light-emitting, -collecting, and -scattering optical probes for near-field scanning optical microscopes. Methods for monitoring the geometrical and optical characteristics of the probes are briefly described. The technologies developed for fabricating optical probes ensured the rapid progress and spread of near-field microscopy because of the high spatial resolution, low signal-detection threshold, and unique possibility of simultaneously recording the topology and optical properties of the surface of materials with nanometer resolution.
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