Heterodyne near-field scanning optical microscopy (H-NSOM) has proven useful as a tool for characterization of both amplitude and phase of on-chip photonic devices in air, but it has previously been unable to characterize devices with a dielectric overcladding, which is commonly used in practice for such devices. Here we demonstrate H-NSOM of a silicon waveguide with a liquid cladding emulating the solid dielectric. This technique allows characterization of practical devices with realistic refractive index profiles. Fourier analysis is used to estimate the effective refractive index of the mode from the measured data, showing an index shift of 0.08 from air to water cladding, which is seen to correspond well to simulations.
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