A simple setup for generating evanescent Bessel beams is proposed. When a radially polarized beam is strongly focused onto a dielectric–metal interface, the entire beam is p-polarized with respect to the dielectric–metal interface, enabling excitation of surface plasmons from all directions. The angular selectivity of surface plasmon excitation mimics the function of an axicon, leading to an evanescent nondiffracting Bessel beam. The created evanescent Bessel beam may be used as a virtual probe for near-field optical imaging and sensing applications.
© 2006 Optical Society of America
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