We present an algorithm for calculating the field distribution in the focal region of stratified media which is fast and easy to implement. Using this algorithm we study the effect on the electric field distribution of an air gap separating a solid immersion lens and a sample, where we analyse the maximum distance for out-of-contact operation. Also, we study how the presence of a metallic substrate affects the field distribution in the focal region; the interference effects of the reflected field could be used as an alternative for 4Pi-microscopy.
©2004 Optical Society of America
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