The Theory of SNOM: a Novel Approach

A.J. Ward and J.B. Pendry


In this paper we consider the application of electromagnetic theory to the analysis of the Scanning Near-field Optical Microscope (SNOM) in order to predict experimentally observable quantities such as the transmission or reflection coefficients for a particular tip-surface configuration. In particular we present the first application of a transfer matrix based calculation to this challenging problem by using an adaptive co-ordinate transformation to accurately model the shape of the SNOM tip.

We also investigate the possibility of increasing the transmitted light through the SNOM tip by introducing a metal wire into the centre of the tip. This converts the tip into a co-axial cable. We show that, in principle, this can dramatically improve the transmission characteristics without having a detrimental effect on the resolution.

This paper is available from the Condensed Matter e-Print Archive, as a PDF file or as a PostScript file.

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