Review of Scientific Instruments

Micromachined photoplastic probe for scanning near-field optical microscopy

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We present a hybrid probe for scanning near-field optical microscopy (SNOM), which consists of a micromachined photoplastic tip with a metallic aperture at the apex that is attached to an optical fiber, thus combining the advantages of optical fiber probes and micromachined tips. The tip and aperture are batch fabricated and assembled to a preetched optical fiber with micrometer centering precision. Rectangular apertures of 50 nm X 130 nm have been produced without the need of any postprocessing. Topographical and optical imaging with a probe having an aperture of 300 nm demonstrate the great potential of the photoplastic probe for SNOM applications. © 2001 American Institute of Physics.