Effect of the surface water layer on the optical signal in apertureless scanning near field optical microscopy

Fu Min Huang, Ferhat Culfaz, Frederic Festy, David Richards, Fumin Huang

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Optical signals measured in apertureless scanning near field optical microscopy (ASNOM) under ambient conditions are found to be affected significantly by the thin water layer absorbed on the surface under investigation, the presence of which is detected through measurements of the shear force experienced by the tip. This water layer also results in a large hysteresis between optical signals measured during approach and withdrawal of the tip to the sample surface. The role of this effect in ASNOM is anticipated to be significant, with the possibility of resultant topographically induced artefacts for ASNOM involving intermittent contact of tip and sample, but also providing a potential mechanism for nanoscale optical resolution.

Original languageEnglish
Article number015501
Pages (from-to)-
Number of pages5
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2007

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