Abstract

We have realized a differential Near-field Scanning Optical Microscope (NSOM) working with subwavelength resolution in the THz spectral region. The system employs a quantum cascade laser emitting at λ ~105 µm as source, and the method, differently from conventional NSOM, involves diffracting apertures with size comparable to the wavelength. This concept ensures a higher signal-to-noise level at the expense of an additional computational step. In the implementation here reported λ/10 resolution has been achieved; present limiting factors are investigated through finite difference time domain simulations.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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  1. S. Barbieri, J. Alton, C. Baker, T. Lo, H. E. Beere, and D. Ritchie, "Imaging with THz quantum cascade lasers using a Schottky diode mixer," Opt. Express 13, 6497-6503 (2005).
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    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
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    [CrossRef]
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2009 (1)

2008 (4)

A. J. L. Adam, J. M. Brok, M. A. Seo, K, J. Ahn, D. S. Kim, J. H. Kang, Q. H. Park, M. Nagel, and P. C. M. Planken, "Advanced terahertz electric near-field measurements at sub-wavelength diameter metallic apertures," Opt. Express 16, 7407-7417 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

A. J. Huber, F. Keilmann, J. Wittborn, J. Aizpurua and R. Hillenbrand, "Terahertz Near-Field Nanoscopy of Mobile Carriers in Single Semiconductor Nanodevices," Nano Lett. 8, 3766-3770 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

T. Losco, J. H. Xu, R. P. Green, A. Tredicucci, H. E. Beere, and D. A. Ritchie, "THz quantum cascade designs for optimized injection," Physica E 40, 2207-2209 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Y. Kawano and K. Ishibashi, "An on chip near-field terahertz probe and detector," Nature Photon. 2, 618-621 (2008).
[CrossRef]

2007 (2)

A. Ozcan, E. Cubukcu, A. Bilenca, B. E. Bouma, F. Capasso, and G. J. Tearney, "Differential Near-Field Scanning optical Microscopy Using Sensor Arrays," IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 13, 1721-1729 (2007).
[CrossRef]

B. S. Williams, "Terahertz quantum-cascade lasers," Nature Photon. 1, 517-525 (2007).
[CrossRef]

2006 (2)

A. Ozcan, E. Cubucku, A. Bilenca, K. B. Crozier, B. E. Bouma, F. Capasso, and G. J. Tearney, "Differential Near-Field Scanning Optical Microscopy," Nano Lett. 6, 2609-2616 (2006).
[CrossRef]

F. Buersgens, R. Kersting, and H.-T. Chen, "Terahertz microscopy of charge carriers in semiconductors," Appl. Phys. Lett. 88, 112115-112118 (2006).
[CrossRef]

2005 (2)

S. Barbieri, J. Alton, C. Baker, T. Lo, H. E. Beere, and D. Ritchie, "Imaging with THz quantum cascade lasers using a Schottky diode mixer," Opt. Express 13, 6497-6503 (2005).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Y. C. Shen, T. Lo, P. F. Taday, B. E. Cole, W. R. Tribe, and M. C. Kemp, "Detection and identification of explosives using THz pulsed spectroscopic imaging," Appl. Phys. Lett. 86, 241116-241118 (2005).
[CrossRef]

2004 (1)

2002 (2)

N. C. J. van der Valk and P. C. M. Planken, "Electro-optic detection of subwavelength terahertz spot sizes in the near field of a metal tip," Appl. Phys. Lett. 811558-1561 (2002).
[CrossRef]

R. Köhler, A. Tredicucci, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, E. H. Linfield, A. G. Davies, D. A. Ritchie, R. Iotti, and F. Rossi, "THz semiconductor-heterostructure laser," Nature 417, 156-159 (2002).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

2001 (2)

O. Mitrofanov, M. Lee, J. W. P. Hsu, L. N. Pfeiffer, K. W. West, J. D. Wynn, and J. F. Federici, "Terahertz pulse propagation through small apertures, " Appl. Phys. Lett. 79, 907-909 (2001).
[CrossRef]

O. Mitrofanov, M. Lee, J.W. P. Hsu, I. Brener, R. Harel, J. F. Federici, J. D. Wynn, L. N. Pfeiffer, and K.W. West, "Collection-mode Near-Field Imaging With 0.5-THz Pulses," IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 7, 600-607 (2001).
[CrossRef]

1995 (1)

1944 (1)

H. A. Bethe, "Theory of diffraction by Small Holes," Phys. Rev. 66, 163-182 (1944).
[CrossRef]

Adam, A. J. L.

Aizpurua, J.

A. J. Huber, F. Keilmann, J. Wittborn, J. Aizpurua and R. Hillenbrand, "Terahertz Near-Field Nanoscopy of Mobile Carriers in Single Semiconductor Nanodevices," Nano Lett. 8, 3766-3770 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Alton, J.

Baker, C.

Barbieri, S.

Beck, M.

Beere, H. E.

T. Losco, J. H. Xu, R. P. Green, A. Tredicucci, H. E. Beere, and D. A. Ritchie, "THz quantum cascade designs for optimized injection," Physica E 40, 2207-2209 (2008).
[CrossRef]

S. Barbieri, J. Alton, C. Baker, T. Lo, H. E. Beere, and D. Ritchie, "Imaging with THz quantum cascade lasers using a Schottky diode mixer," Opt. Express 13, 6497-6503 (2005).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

R. Köhler, A. Tredicucci, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, E. H. Linfield, A. G. Davies, D. A. Ritchie, R. Iotti, and F. Rossi, "THz semiconductor-heterostructure laser," Nature 417, 156-159 (2002).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Beltram, F.

R. Köhler, A. Tredicucci, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, E. H. Linfield, A. G. Davies, D. A. Ritchie, R. Iotti, and F. Rossi, "THz semiconductor-heterostructure laser," Nature 417, 156-159 (2002).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Bethe, H. A.

H. A. Bethe, "Theory of diffraction by Small Holes," Phys. Rev. 66, 163-182 (1944).
[CrossRef]

Bilenca, A.

A. Ozcan, E. Cubukcu, A. Bilenca, B. E. Bouma, F. Capasso, and G. J. Tearney, "Differential Near-Field Scanning optical Microscopy Using Sensor Arrays," IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 13, 1721-1729 (2007).
[CrossRef]

A. Ozcan, E. Cubucku, A. Bilenca, K. B. Crozier, B. E. Bouma, F. Capasso, and G. J. Tearney, "Differential Near-Field Scanning Optical Microscopy," Nano Lett. 6, 2609-2616 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Bouma, B. E.

A. Ozcan, E. Cubukcu, A. Bilenca, B. E. Bouma, F. Capasso, and G. J. Tearney, "Differential Near-Field Scanning optical Microscopy Using Sensor Arrays," IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 13, 1721-1729 (2007).
[CrossRef]

A. Ozcan, E. Cubucku, A. Bilenca, K. B. Crozier, B. E. Bouma, F. Capasso, and G. J. Tearney, "Differential Near-Field Scanning Optical Microscopy," Nano Lett. 6, 2609-2616 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Brener, I.

O. Mitrofanov, M. Lee, J.W. P. Hsu, I. Brener, R. Harel, J. F. Federici, J. D. Wynn, L. N. Pfeiffer, and K.W. West, "Collection-mode Near-Field Imaging With 0.5-THz Pulses," IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 7, 600-607 (2001).
[CrossRef]

Brok, J. M.

Buersgens, F.

F. Buersgens, R. Kersting, and H.-T. Chen, "Terahertz microscopy of charge carriers in semiconductors," Appl. Phys. Lett. 88, 112115-112118 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Capasso, F.

A. Ozcan, E. Cubukcu, A. Bilenca, B. E. Bouma, F. Capasso, and G. J. Tearney, "Differential Near-Field Scanning optical Microscopy Using Sensor Arrays," IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 13, 1721-1729 (2007).
[CrossRef]

A. Ozcan, E. Cubucku, A. Bilenca, K. B. Crozier, B. E. Bouma, F. Capasso, and G. J. Tearney, "Differential Near-Field Scanning Optical Microscopy," Nano Lett. 6, 2609-2616 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Chen, H.-T.

F. Buersgens, R. Kersting, and H.-T. Chen, "Terahertz microscopy of charge carriers in semiconductors," Appl. Phys. Lett. 88, 112115-112118 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Cole, B. E.

Y. C. Shen, T. Lo, P. F. Taday, B. E. Cole, W. R. Tribe, and M. C. Kemp, "Detection and identification of explosives using THz pulsed spectroscopic imaging," Appl. Phys. Lett. 86, 241116-241118 (2005).
[CrossRef]

Crozier, K. B.

A. Ozcan, E. Cubucku, A. Bilenca, K. B. Crozier, B. E. Bouma, F. Capasso, and G. J. Tearney, "Differential Near-Field Scanning Optical Microscopy," Nano Lett. 6, 2609-2616 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Cubucku, E.

A. Ozcan, E. Cubucku, A. Bilenca, K. B. Crozier, B. E. Bouma, F. Capasso, and G. J. Tearney, "Differential Near-Field Scanning Optical Microscopy," Nano Lett. 6, 2609-2616 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Cubukcu, E.

A. Ozcan, E. Cubukcu, A. Bilenca, B. E. Bouma, F. Capasso, and G. J. Tearney, "Differential Near-Field Scanning optical Microscopy Using Sensor Arrays," IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 13, 1721-1729 (2007).
[CrossRef]

Darmo, J.

Davies, A. G.

R. Köhler, A. Tredicucci, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, E. H. Linfield, A. G. Davies, D. A. Ritchie, R. Iotti, and F. Rossi, "THz semiconductor-heterostructure laser," Nature 417, 156-159 (2002).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Debbage, P.

Faist, J.

Fasching, G.

Federici, J. F.

O. Mitrofanov, M. Lee, J.W. P. Hsu, I. Brener, R. Harel, J. F. Federici, J. D. Wynn, L. N. Pfeiffer, and K.W. West, "Collection-mode Near-Field Imaging With 0.5-THz Pulses," IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 7, 600-607 (2001).
[CrossRef]

O. Mitrofanov, M. Lee, J. W. P. Hsu, L. N. Pfeiffer, K. W. West, J. D. Wynn, and J. F. Federici, "Terahertz pulse propagation through small apertures, " Appl. Phys. Lett. 79, 907-909 (2001).
[CrossRef]

Giovannini, M.

Green, R. P.

T. Losco, J. H. Xu, R. P. Green, A. Tredicucci, H. E. Beere, and D. A. Ritchie, "THz quantum cascade designs for optimized injection," Physica E 40, 2207-2209 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Harel, R.

O. Mitrofanov, M. Lee, J.W. P. Hsu, I. Brener, R. Harel, J. F. Federici, J. D. Wynn, L. N. Pfeiffer, and K.W. West, "Collection-mode Near-Field Imaging With 0.5-THz Pulses," IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 7, 600-607 (2001).
[CrossRef]

Hillenbrand, R.

A. J. Huber, F. Keilmann, J. Wittborn, J. Aizpurua and R. Hillenbrand, "Terahertz Near-Field Nanoscopy of Mobile Carriers in Single Semiconductor Nanodevices," Nano Lett. 8, 3766-3770 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Hsu, J. W. P.

O. Mitrofanov, M. Lee, J. W. P. Hsu, L. N. Pfeiffer, K. W. West, J. D. Wynn, and J. F. Federici, "Terahertz pulse propagation through small apertures, " Appl. Phys. Lett. 79, 907-909 (2001).
[CrossRef]

O. Mitrofanov, M. Lee, J.W. P. Hsu, I. Brener, R. Harel, J. F. Federici, J. D. Wynn, L. N. Pfeiffer, and K.W. West, "Collection-mode Near-Field Imaging With 0.5-THz Pulses," IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 7, 600-607 (2001).
[CrossRef]

Hu, B. B.

Huber, A. J.

A. J. Huber, F. Keilmann, J. Wittborn, J. Aizpurua and R. Hillenbrand, "Terahertz Near-Field Nanoscopy of Mobile Carriers in Single Semiconductor Nanodevices," Nano Lett. 8, 3766-3770 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Iotti, R.

R. Köhler, A. Tredicucci, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, E. H. Linfield, A. G. Davies, D. A. Ritchie, R. Iotti, and F. Rossi, "THz semiconductor-heterostructure laser," Nature 417, 156-159 (2002).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Ishibashi, K.

Y. Kawano and K. Ishibashi, "An on chip near-field terahertz probe and detector," Nature Photon. 2, 618-621 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Kawano, Y.

Y. Kawano and K. Ishibashi, "An on chip near-field terahertz probe and detector," Nature Photon. 2, 618-621 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Keilmann, F.

A. J. Huber, F. Keilmann, J. Wittborn, J. Aizpurua and R. Hillenbrand, "Terahertz Near-Field Nanoscopy of Mobile Carriers in Single Semiconductor Nanodevices," Nano Lett. 8, 3766-3770 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Kemp, M. C.

Y. C. Shen, T. Lo, P. F. Taday, B. E. Cole, W. R. Tribe, and M. C. Kemp, "Detection and identification of explosives using THz pulsed spectroscopic imaging," Appl. Phys. Lett. 86, 241116-241118 (2005).
[CrossRef]

Kersting, R.

F. Buersgens, R. Kersting, and H.-T. Chen, "Terahertz microscopy of charge carriers in semiconductors," Appl. Phys. Lett. 88, 112115-112118 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Kim, D. S.

Knab, J. R.

Köhler, R.

R. Köhler, A. Tredicucci, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, E. H. Linfield, A. G. Davies, D. A. Ritchie, R. Iotti, and F. Rossi, "THz semiconductor-heterostructure laser," Nature 417, 156-159 (2002).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Kremser, C.

Kröll, J.

Lee, M.

O. Mitrofanov, M. Lee, J. W. P. Hsu, L. N. Pfeiffer, K. W. West, J. D. Wynn, and J. F. Federici, "Terahertz pulse propagation through small apertures, " Appl. Phys. Lett. 79, 907-909 (2001).
[CrossRef]

O. Mitrofanov, M. Lee, J.W. P. Hsu, I. Brener, R. Harel, J. F. Federici, J. D. Wynn, L. N. Pfeiffer, and K.W. West, "Collection-mode Near-Field Imaging With 0.5-THz Pulses," IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 7, 600-607 (2001).
[CrossRef]

Linfield, E. H.

R. Köhler, A. Tredicucci, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, E. H. Linfield, A. G. Davies, D. A. Ritchie, R. Iotti, and F. Rossi, "THz semiconductor-heterostructure laser," Nature 417, 156-159 (2002).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Lo, T.

Y. C. Shen, T. Lo, P. F. Taday, B. E. Cole, W. R. Tribe, and M. C. Kemp, "Detection and identification of explosives using THz pulsed spectroscopic imaging," Appl. Phys. Lett. 86, 241116-241118 (2005).
[CrossRef]

S. Barbieri, J. Alton, C. Baker, T. Lo, H. E. Beere, and D. Ritchie, "Imaging with THz quantum cascade lasers using a Schottky diode mixer," Opt. Express 13, 6497-6503 (2005).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Losco, T.

T. Losco, J. H. Xu, R. P. Green, A. Tredicucci, H. E. Beere, and D. A. Ritchie, "THz quantum cascade designs for optimized injection," Physica E 40, 2207-2209 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Mitrofanov, O.

O. Mitrofanov, M. Lee, J. W. P. Hsu, L. N. Pfeiffer, K. W. West, J. D. Wynn, and J. F. Federici, "Terahertz pulse propagation through small apertures, " Appl. Phys. Lett. 79, 907-909 (2001).
[CrossRef]

O. Mitrofanov, M. Lee, J.W. P. Hsu, I. Brener, R. Harel, J. F. Federici, J. D. Wynn, L. N. Pfeiffer, and K.W. West, "Collection-mode Near-Field Imaging With 0.5-THz Pulses," IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 7, 600-607 (2001).
[CrossRef]

Nagel, M.

Nuss, M. C.

Ozcan, A.

A. Ozcan, E. Cubukcu, A. Bilenca, B. E. Bouma, F. Capasso, and G. J. Tearney, "Differential Near-Field Scanning optical Microscopy Using Sensor Arrays," IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 13, 1721-1729 (2007).
[CrossRef]

A. Ozcan, E. Cubucku, A. Bilenca, K. B. Crozier, B. E. Bouma, F. Capasso, and G. J. Tearney, "Differential Near-Field Scanning Optical Microscopy," Nano Lett. 6, 2609-2616 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Pfeiffer, L. N.

O. Mitrofanov, M. Lee, J. W. P. Hsu, L. N. Pfeiffer, K. W. West, J. D. Wynn, and J. F. Federici, "Terahertz pulse propagation through small apertures, " Appl. Phys. Lett. 79, 907-909 (2001).
[CrossRef]

O. Mitrofanov, M. Lee, J.W. P. Hsu, I. Brener, R. Harel, J. F. Federici, J. D. Wynn, L. N. Pfeiffer, and K.W. West, "Collection-mode Near-Field Imaging With 0.5-THz Pulses," IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 7, 600-607 (2001).
[CrossRef]

Planken, P. C. M.

J. R. Knab, A. J. L. Adam, M. Nagel, E. Shaner, M. A. Seo, D. S. Kim, and P. C. M. Planken, "Terahertz Near-Field Vectorial Imaging of Subwavelength Apertures and Aperture Arrays," Opt. Express 17, 15072-15086 (2009).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

N. C. J. van der Valk and P. C. M. Planken, "Electro-optic detection of subwavelength terahertz spot sizes in the near field of a metal tip," Appl. Phys. Lett. 811558-1561 (2002).
[CrossRef]

Ritchie, D.

Ritchie, D. A.

T. Losco, J. H. Xu, R. P. Green, A. Tredicucci, H. E. Beere, and D. A. Ritchie, "THz quantum cascade designs for optimized injection," Physica E 40, 2207-2209 (2008).
[CrossRef]

R. Köhler, A. Tredicucci, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, E. H. Linfield, A. G. Davies, D. A. Ritchie, R. Iotti, and F. Rossi, "THz semiconductor-heterostructure laser," Nature 417, 156-159 (2002).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Rossi, F.

R. Köhler, A. Tredicucci, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, E. H. Linfield, A. G. Davies, D. A. Ritchie, R. Iotti, and F. Rossi, "THz semiconductor-heterostructure laser," Nature 417, 156-159 (2002).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Seo, M. A.

Shaner, E.

Shen, Y. C.

Y. C. Shen, T. Lo, P. F. Taday, B. E. Cole, W. R. Tribe, and M. C. Kemp, "Detection and identification of explosives using THz pulsed spectroscopic imaging," Appl. Phys. Lett. 86, 241116-241118 (2005).
[CrossRef]

Taday, P. F.

Y. C. Shen, T. Lo, P. F. Taday, B. E. Cole, W. R. Tribe, and M. C. Kemp, "Detection and identification of explosives using THz pulsed spectroscopic imaging," Appl. Phys. Lett. 86, 241116-241118 (2005).
[CrossRef]

Tamosiunas, V.

Tearney, G. J.

A. Ozcan, E. Cubukcu, A. Bilenca, B. E. Bouma, F. Capasso, and G. J. Tearney, "Differential Near-Field Scanning optical Microscopy Using Sensor Arrays," IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 13, 1721-1729 (2007).
[CrossRef]

A. Ozcan, E. Cubucku, A. Bilenca, K. B. Crozier, B. E. Bouma, F. Capasso, and G. J. Tearney, "Differential Near-Field Scanning Optical Microscopy," Nano Lett. 6, 2609-2616 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Tredicucci, A.

T. Losco, J. H. Xu, R. P. Green, A. Tredicucci, H. E. Beere, and D. A. Ritchie, "THz quantum cascade designs for optimized injection," Physica E 40, 2207-2209 (2008).
[CrossRef]

R. Köhler, A. Tredicucci, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, E. H. Linfield, A. G. Davies, D. A. Ritchie, R. Iotti, and F. Rossi, "THz semiconductor-heterostructure laser," Nature 417, 156-159 (2002).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Tribe, W. R.

Y. C. Shen, T. Lo, P. F. Taday, B. E. Cole, W. R. Tribe, and M. C. Kemp, "Detection and identification of explosives using THz pulsed spectroscopic imaging," Appl. Phys. Lett. 86, 241116-241118 (2005).
[CrossRef]

Unterrainer, K.

van der Valk, N. C. J.

N. C. J. van der Valk and P. C. M. Planken, "Electro-optic detection of subwavelength terahertz spot sizes in the near field of a metal tip," Appl. Phys. Lett. 811558-1561 (2002).
[CrossRef]

West, K. W.

O. Mitrofanov, M. Lee, J.W. P. Hsu, I. Brener, R. Harel, J. F. Federici, J. D. Wynn, L. N. Pfeiffer, and K.W. West, "Collection-mode Near-Field Imaging With 0.5-THz Pulses," IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 7, 600-607 (2001).
[CrossRef]

O. Mitrofanov, M. Lee, J. W. P. Hsu, L. N. Pfeiffer, K. W. West, J. D. Wynn, and J. F. Federici, "Terahertz pulse propagation through small apertures, " Appl. Phys. Lett. 79, 907-909 (2001).
[CrossRef]

Williams, B. S.

B. S. Williams, "Terahertz quantum-cascade lasers," Nature Photon. 1, 517-525 (2007).
[CrossRef]

Wittborn, J.

A. J. Huber, F. Keilmann, J. Wittborn, J. Aizpurua and R. Hillenbrand, "Terahertz Near-Field Nanoscopy of Mobile Carriers in Single Semiconductor Nanodevices," Nano Lett. 8, 3766-3770 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Wynn, J. D.

O. Mitrofanov, M. Lee, J. W. P. Hsu, L. N. Pfeiffer, K. W. West, J. D. Wynn, and J. F. Federici, "Terahertz pulse propagation through small apertures, " Appl. Phys. Lett. 79, 907-909 (2001).
[CrossRef]

O. Mitrofanov, M. Lee, J.W. P. Hsu, I. Brener, R. Harel, J. F. Federici, J. D. Wynn, L. N. Pfeiffer, and K.W. West, "Collection-mode Near-Field Imaging With 0.5-THz Pulses," IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 7, 600-607 (2001).
[CrossRef]

Xu, J. H.

T. Losco, J. H. Xu, R. P. Green, A. Tredicucci, H. E. Beere, and D. A. Ritchie, "THz quantum cascade designs for optimized injection," Physica E 40, 2207-2209 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Appl. Phys. Lett. (4)

Y. C. Shen, T. Lo, P. F. Taday, B. E. Cole, W. R. Tribe, and M. C. Kemp, "Detection and identification of explosives using THz pulsed spectroscopic imaging," Appl. Phys. Lett. 86, 241116-241118 (2005).
[CrossRef]

N. C. J. van der Valk and P. C. M. Planken, "Electro-optic detection of subwavelength terahertz spot sizes in the near field of a metal tip," Appl. Phys. Lett. 811558-1561 (2002).
[CrossRef]

F. Buersgens, R. Kersting, and H.-T. Chen, "Terahertz microscopy of charge carriers in semiconductors," Appl. Phys. Lett. 88, 112115-112118 (2006).
[CrossRef]

O. Mitrofanov, M. Lee, J. W. P. Hsu, L. N. Pfeiffer, K. W. West, J. D. Wynn, and J. F. Federici, "Terahertz pulse propagation through small apertures, " Appl. Phys. Lett. 79, 907-909 (2001).
[CrossRef]

IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. (2)

O. Mitrofanov, M. Lee, J.W. P. Hsu, I. Brener, R. Harel, J. F. Federici, J. D. Wynn, L. N. Pfeiffer, and K.W. West, "Collection-mode Near-Field Imaging With 0.5-THz Pulses," IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 7, 600-607 (2001).
[CrossRef]

A. Ozcan, E. Cubukcu, A. Bilenca, B. E. Bouma, F. Capasso, and G. J. Tearney, "Differential Near-Field Scanning optical Microscopy Using Sensor Arrays," IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 13, 1721-1729 (2007).
[CrossRef]

Nano Lett. (2)

A. Ozcan, E. Cubucku, A. Bilenca, K. B. Crozier, B. E. Bouma, F. Capasso, and G. J. Tearney, "Differential Near-Field Scanning Optical Microscopy," Nano Lett. 6, 2609-2616 (2006).
[CrossRef]

A. J. Huber, F. Keilmann, J. Wittborn, J. Aizpurua and R. Hillenbrand, "Terahertz Near-Field Nanoscopy of Mobile Carriers in Single Semiconductor Nanodevices," Nano Lett. 8, 3766-3770 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Nature (1)

R. Köhler, A. Tredicucci, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, E. H. Linfield, A. G. Davies, D. A. Ritchie, R. Iotti, and F. Rossi, "THz semiconductor-heterostructure laser," Nature 417, 156-159 (2002).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Nature Photon. (2)

B. S. Williams, "Terahertz quantum-cascade lasers," Nature Photon. 1, 517-525 (2007).
[CrossRef]

Y. Kawano and K. Ishibashi, "An on chip near-field terahertz probe and detector," Nature Photon. 2, 618-621 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Opt. Express (4)

Opt. Lett. (1)

Phys. Rev. (1)

H. A. Bethe, "Theory of diffraction by Small Holes," Phys. Rev. 66, 163-182 (1944).
[CrossRef]

Physica E (1)

T. Losco, J. H. Xu, R. P. Green, A. Tredicucci, H. E. Beere, and D. A. Ritchie, "THz quantum cascade designs for optimized injection," Physica E 40, 2207-2209 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Other (1)

L. Novotny and B. Hecht, Principle of Nano-Optics, (Cambridge University Press, U. K., 2007).

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Figures (5)

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

Scheme of the experimental apparatus. The radiation of a cryogenically cooled QCL laser emitting at λ ~105 µm, is collected by a system of parabolic mirrors (not shown here) and then focused through a Winston cone on a square aperture in a metal evaporated on a GaAs substrate. The sample corresponds to a metallic layer with regular geometrical shape, a triangle in this case, on a quartz substrate, which is transparent in the THz range. The sample, mounted on a xyz piezoelectric traslational stage, is placed in the near-field of the aperture with the help of a CCD camera.

Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.

Numerical simulations obtained with the FDTD method. The aperture has 100×100 µm2 size, and is defined in a 400 nm thick metal layer on top of a GaAs substrate illuminated with linearly polarized radiation with a wavelength of 100 µm. The object is a metallic triangular shape completely opaque to the THz radiation, and the relative distance Δz has been kept fixed to 4 µm. If the polarization is along one axis of the square aperture, the intensity profile of the aperture transmission, shown in a), is not uniform, due to the boundary conditions at the metal/dielectric interface related to the polarization and to the excitation of surface plasmons. This, in turns, affects the convolution with the sample, as it is presented in b), where the integrated transmitted intensity in the presence of the sample is displayed as function of the aperture-sample displacement, and the final recovery of the original object reported in c).

Fig. 3.
Fig. 3.

a) Total signal acquired using a CO2 laser source emitting at λ ⋍10.6 µm wavelength for different relative distance Δz between sample and aperture; b) Recovered image of the original sample (detail originating from one corner). The aperture, with size 50×50 µm2, is defined in a 5/400 nm Cr/Au evaporation on a GaAs substrate, and the sample corresponds to the one shown in Fig. 1. The minimum relative distance z0 between sample and aperture is estimated to be ⋍3-4 µm.

Fig. 4.
Fig. 4.

The visible image of a square metallic evaporation with 28×28 µm2 size on a quartz substrate, placed in the near field of the aperture, is shown in a). The result of the theoretical simulations, carried out assuming a relative distance object/aperture Δ z=4 µm, an incident wavelength of 100 µm, a square opaque object of 30 µm and an aperture of 100 µm, are presented in b). The final recovery of the original sample, obtained from the measured THz signal after the second derivative process, is presented in c).

Fig. 5.
Fig. 5.

a) The THz image of a 30-µm square as recorded without further treatment from a single corner replica; b) the same for the object already presented in Fig. 4(a), but summing up the four replica originating from each corner of the aperture. For comparison a single simulated image is presented in c) selected among those shown in Fig. 4(b). The dashed lines indicate the chosen profiles extracted in the pictures below, yielding a resolution, respectively, of 16±2 µm in a), of 11±2 µm in b), and of 9±1 µm in c) (10 %-90 % criterion).

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