Abstract

A near-field scanning optical microscope has been developed to yield optical images with various gap distances between the probe and the sample surface. The microscope uses an apertureless metallic probe, the position of which is controlled by regulation of the tunneling-electron current from the probe to the sample and by computer-generated bias voltage. Experimental results of near-field optical imaging with the developed microscope at different gap distances are shown. Thirteen images at gap distances of 0 to 500 nm demonstrate that the near-field image depends strongly on the gap distance. The imaging characteristics of a near-field imaging system are shown with the spatial-frequency spectra of images. Future investigation of the developed microscope is also discussed.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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