We propose a method for mapping optical near-fields with the help of a thermocouple scanning-probe microscope tip. As the tip scans the sample surface, its apex is heated by light absorption, generating a thermovoltage. The thermovoltage map represents the intensity distribution of light at the sample surface. The measurement technique has been employed to map optical whispering-gallery modes in fused silica microdisk resonators operating at near-infrared wavelengths. The method could potentially be employed for near-field imaging of a variety of systems in the near-infrared and visible spectral range.
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