Numerical analysis of the spectral response of an NSOM measurement

Edward C. Kinzel, Purdue University
Xianfan Xu, Birck Nanotechnology Center, School of Materials Engineering, Purdue University

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Near-field Scanning Optical Microscopy (NSOM) is a powerful tool for investigating optical field with resolution greater than the diffraction limit. In this work, we study the spectral response that would be obtained from an aperture NSOM system using numerical calculations. The sample used in this study is a bowtie nanoaperture that has been shown to produce concentrated and enhanced field. The near- and far-field distributions from a bowtie aperture are also calculated and compared with what would be obtainable from a NSOM system. The results demonstrate that it will be very difficult to resolve the true spectral content of the near-field using aperture NSOM. On the other hand, the far-field response may be used as a guide to the near-field spectrum.