Abstract

A trapped-particle near-field scanning optical microscope is constructed by use of submicrometer- or micrometer-sized metallic particles (gold and silver) to increase scattering efficiency. The image contrast of the evanescent-wave interference pattern on the surface of a prism upon total internal reflection, obtained with trapped gold particles of diameter 0.1 and 2 μm, is improved by a factor of approximately 2 and 1.5, respectively, compared with that obtained with trapped polystyrene particles of similar size. The use of a 2μm gold particle leads to image contrast that is approximately three times as great as that obtained with a 0.1μm gold particle, and interference patterns of a subwavelength period are obtained in both cases.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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