Hollow-pyramid based scanning near-field optical microscope coupled to femtosecond pulses: A tool for nonlinear optics at the nanoscale

Celebrano, Michele; Biagioni, Paolo; Zavelani-Rossi, Margherita; Polli, Dario; Labardi, Massimiliano; Allegrini, Maria; Finazzi, Marco; Duò, Lamberto; Cerullo, Giulio
March 2009
Review of Scientific Instruments;Mar2009, Vol. 80 Issue 3, p033704
Academic Journal
We describe an aperture scanning near-field optical microscope (SNOM) using cantilevered hollow pyramid probes coupled to femtosecond laser pulses. Such probes, with respect to tapered optical fibers, present higher throughput and laser power damage threshold, as well as greater mechanical robustness. In addition, they preserve pulse duration and polarization in the near field. The instrument can operate in two configurations: illumination mode, in which the SNOM probe is used to excite the nonlinear response in the near field, and collection mode, where it collects the nonlinear emission following far-field excitation. We present application examples highlighting the capability of the system to observe the nonlinear optical response of nanostructured metal surfaces (gold projection patterns and gold nanorods) with sub-100-nm spatial resolution.


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