Abstract

A confined, evanescent nano-source based on the excitation of Surface Plasmon Polaritons (SPP) on structured thin metal films is proposed. With the help of a suitable cavity, we numerically demonstrate that it is possible to trap SPP over a spatial region smaller than the diffraction limit. In particular, the enhanced plasmonic field associated with the zero-order cavity mode can be used as a virtual probe in scanning near-field microscopy systems. The proposed device shows both the advantages of a localized, non-radiating source and the high sensitivity of SPP-based sensors. The lateral resolution is limited by the lateral extension of the virtual probe. Results from simulated scans of small objects reveal that details with feature sizes down to 50 nm can be detected.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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Appl. Opt. (1)

Appl. Phys. Lett. (7)

D. Peyrade, E. Silberstein, P. Lalanne, A. Talneau and Y. Chen, �??Short Bragg mirrors with adiabatic modal conversion,�?? Appl. Phys. Lett. 81, 829�??831 (2002).
[CrossRef]

L. Vaccaro, L. Aeschimann, U. Staufer and H. P. Herzig, �??Propagation of the electromagnetic field in fully coated near-field optical probes,�?? Appl. Phys. Lett. 83, 584�??586 (2003).
[CrossRef]

A. Bouhelier, M. R. Beversluis and L. Novotny, �??Near-field scattering of longitudinal fields,�?? Appl. Phys. Lett. 82, 4596�??4598 (2003).
[CrossRef]

E. Descrovi, L. Vaccaro, W. Nakagawa, L. Aeschimann, U. Staufer and H. P. Herzig, �??Collection of transverse and longitudinal fields by means of apertureless nanoprobes with different metal coating characteristics,�?? Appl. Phys. Lett. 85, 5340�??5342 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Tao Hong, Jia Wang, Liqun Sun and Dacheng Li, �??Numerical simulation analysis of a near-field optical virtual probe,�?? Appl. Phys. Lett. 81, 3452�??3454 (2002).
[CrossRef]

T. Okamoto, F. H' Dhili and S. Kawata, �??Towards plasmonic band gap laser,�?? Appl. Phys. Lett. 85, 3978�??3970 (2004).

H. Ditlabacher, J. R. Krenn, G. Schider, A. Leitner and F. R. Aussenegg, �??Two-dimensional optics with surface plasmon polaritons,�?? Appl. Phys. Lett. 81, 1762�??1764 (2002).
[CrossRef]

J. Appl. Phys. (3)

S. C. Kitson, W. L. Barnes and J. R. Sambles, �??Photonic band gaps in metallic microcavities,�?? J. Appl. Phys. 84, 2399�??2403 (1998).
[CrossRef]

B. Fisher, T. M. Fisher and W. Knoll, �??Dispersion of surface plasmons in rectangular, sinusoidal and incoherent silver gratings,�?? J. Appl. Phys. 75, 1577�??1581 (1994).
[CrossRef]

P. André, F. Charra and M. P. Pileni, �??Resonant electromagnetic field cavity between scanning tunneling microscope tips and substrate,�?? J. Appl. Phys. 91, 3028�??3036 (2002).
[CrossRef]

J. Microsc. (4)

L. Aeschimann, T. Akiyama, U. Staufer, N. F. de Roij, L. Thiery, R. Eckert and H. Heinzelmann, �??Characterization and fabrication of fully metal-coated scanning near-field optical microscopy SiO 2 tips,�?? J. Microsc. 209, 182�??187 (2003).

J. R. Krenn, H. Ditlbacher, G. Schider, A. Hoheanau, A. Leitner and F. R. Aussenegg, �??Surface plasmon micro and nano-optics,�?? J. Microsc. 209, 167�??172 (2002).

T. Grosjean and D. Courjon, �??Immaterial tip concept by light confinement,�?? J. Microsc. 202, 273�??278 (2000).
[CrossRef]

T. Grosjean, D. Courjon and D. Van Labeke, �??Bessel beams as virtual tips for near-field optics,�?? J. Microsc. 210, 319�??323 (2003).
[CrossRef]

J. Opt. Soc. Am. A (5)

J. Opt. Soc. Am. B (1)

Nature (London) (1)

W. L. Barnes, A. Dereux and T. W. Ebbesen, �??Surface plasmon subwavelength optics,�?? Nature (London) 424, 824�??830 (2003).
[CrossRef]

Opt. Lett. (1)

Phys. Rev. B (4)

W. L. Barnes, T. W. Preist, S. C. Kitson, J. R. Sambles, �??Physical origin of photonic energy gaps in the propagation of surface plasmons on gratings,�?? Phys. Rev. B 54, 6227�??6244 (1996).
[CrossRef]

W. L. Barnes, T. W. Preist, S. C. Kitson, J. R. Sambles, N. P. K. Cotter and D. J. Nash, �??Photonic gaps in the dispersion of surface plasmons on gratings,�?? Phys. Rev. B 51, 11164�??11167 (1995).
[CrossRef]

P. B. Johnson and R. W. Christy, �??Optical constants of the noble metals,�?? Phys. Rev. B 6, 4370�??4379 (1972).
[CrossRef]

A. Bouhelier, T. Huser, H. Tamaru, H. J. Güntherodt, D. W. Pohl, Fadi I. Baida and D. Van Labeke, �??Plasmon optics of structured silver films,�?? Phys. Rev. B 63, 155404-1�??155404-9 (2001).

Phys. Rev. E (1)

D. C. Skigin and R. A. Depine, �??Surface shape resonances and surface plasmon polariton excitations in bottleshaped metallic gratings,�?? Phys. Rev. E 63, 046608-1�??046608-10 (2001).

Phys. Rev. Lett. (2)

S. C. Kitson, W. L. Barnes and J. R. Sambles, �??Full Photonic Band Gap for Surface Modes in the Visible,�?? Phys. Rev. Lett. 77, 1670�??2673 (1996).

S. I. Bozhevolnyi, J. Erland, K. Leosson, P. M.W. Skovgaard and J. M. Hvam, �??Waveguiding in Surface Plasmon Polariton Band Gap Structures,�?? Phys. Rev. Lett. 86, 3008�??3011 (2001).
[CrossRef]

Pure Appl. Opt. (1)

L. Li, G. Granet, J. P. Plumey and J. Chandezon, �??Some topics in extending the C method to multilayer gratings of different profiles,�?? Pure Appl. Opt. 5, 141�??156 (1996).
[CrossRef]

Science (1)

E. Betzig and J. K. Trautman, T. D. Harris, J. S. Weiner and R. L. Kostelak, �??Breaking the diffraction barrier: optical microscopy on a nanometric scale,�?? Science 251, 1468�??1470 (1991).
[CrossRef]

Ultramicroscopy (1)

L. Novotny, E. J. S´anchez and X. S. Xie, �??Near-field imaging using metal tips illuminated by higher-order Hermite-Gaussian beams,�?? Ultramicroscopy 71, 21�??29 (1998).
[CrossRef]

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