An optical scanning probe microscope, based on surface plasmon resonance (SPR) in the attenuated total reflection geometry, is shown to successfully image the polarization structures in self-assembled monolayers of hemicyanine adsorbed on a gold surface. Application of an ac field to the tip gives rise to the linear electro-optic effect in the monolayer just below the tip and the local change in the refractive index of the monolayer was detected via the ac component of the reflected light intensity, in which SPR-based detection intensifies the ac component. Polarization structures in a monolayer can be clearly imaged by this technique.
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