OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 37, Iss. 4 — Feb. 1, 1998
  • pp: 609–615

Fabrication and characterization of optical-fiber nanoprobes for scanning near-field optical microscopy

N. Essaidi, Y. Chen, V. Kottler, E. Cambril, C. Mayeux, N. Ronarch, and C. Vieu  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 37, Issue 4, pp. 609-615 (1998)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (698 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



The current scanning near-field optical microscopy has been developed with optical-fiber probes obtained by use of either laser-heated pulling or chemical etching. For high-resolution near-field imaging, the detected signal is rapidly attenuated as the aperture size of the probe decreases. It is thus important to fabricate probes optimized for both spot size and optical transmission. We present a two-step fabrication that allowed us to achieve an improved performance of the optical-fiber probes. Initially, a CO2 laser-heated pulling was used to produce a parabolic transitional taper ending with a top thin filament. Then, a rapid chemical etching with 50% buffered hydrofluoric acid was used to remove the thin filament and to result in a final conical tip on the top of the parabolic transitional taper. Systematically, we obtained optical-fiber nanoprobes with the apex size as small as 10 nm and the final cone angle varying from 15° to 80°. It was found that the optical transmission efficiency increases rapidly as the taper angle increases from 15° to 50°, but a further increase in the taper angle gives rise to important broadening of the spot size. Finally, the fabricated nanoprobes were used in photon-scanning tunneling microscopy, which allowed observation of etched double lines and grating structures with periods as small as 200 nm.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(060.2310) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber optics
(180.5810) Microscopy : Scanning microscopy

Original Manuscript: March 10, 1997
Revised Manuscript: July 7, 1997
Published: February 1, 1998

N. Essaidi, Y. Chen, V. Kottler, E. Cambril, C. Mayeux, N. Ronarch, and C. Vieu, "Fabrication and characterization of optical-fiber nanoprobes for scanning near-field optical microscopy," Appl. Opt. 37, 609-615 (1998)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. D. W. Pohl, D. Courjon, eds., Near Field Optics (Kluwer Academic, The Netherlands, 1993). [CrossRef]
  2. Selected papers of the Second International Conference on Near-Field Optics, Ultramicroscopy 57, 113–322 (1995).
  3. Selected papers of the Third International Conference on Near-Field Optics, Ultramicroscopy 61, 1–304 (1996).
  4. D. Pohl, W. Denk, M. Lanz, “Optical stechoscopy: image recording with resolution λ/20,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 44, 651–653 (1984). [CrossRef]
  5. A. Lewis, M. Issacson, A. Haratounian, A. Murray, “Development of a 500A resolution light microscope,” Ultramicroscopy 13, 227–232 (1984). [CrossRef]
  6. E. Betzig, J. Trautman, T. D. Harris, J. S. Weiner, R. L. Kostelak, “Breaking the diffraction barriers: optical microscopy on a nanometric scale,” Science 251, 1468–1470 (1991);E. Betzig, P. L. Finn, J. S. Weiner, “Combined shear force and near-field scanning optical microscopy,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 60, 2484–2486 (1992). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  7. E. Betzig, J. Trautman, “Near-field optics: microscopy, spectroscopy, and surface modification beyond the diffraction limit,” Science 257, 189–195 (1992). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  8. D. Courjon, K. Sarayeddine, M. Spajer, “Scanning tunneling optical microscopy,” Opt. Commun. 71, 23–28 (1989). [CrossRef]
  9. R. C. Reddick, R. J. Warmack, T. L. Ferrel, “New form of scanning optical microscopy,” Phys. Rev. B 39, 767–770 (1989). [CrossRef]
  10. F. de Fornel, J. P. Goudonnet, L. Salomon, E. Lesniewska, “An evanescent field optical microscope,” in Optical Storage and Scanning Technology, T. Wilson, ed., Proc. SPIE1139, 77–84 (1989). [CrossRef]
  11. G. A. Valaskovic, M. Holton, G. H. Morrison, “Parameter control, characterization, and optimization in the fabrication of optical fiber near-field probes,” Appl. Opt. 34, 1215–1228 (1995). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  12. M. Garcia-Parajo, T. Tate, Y. Chen, “Gold-coated parabolic tapers for scanning near-field optical microscopy: fabrication and optimization,” Ultramicroscopy 61, 155–163 (1995). [CrossRef]
  13. T. Pangaribuan, K. Yamada, S. Jiang, H. Ohsawa, M. Ohtsu, “Reproducible fabrication technique of nanometric tip diameter fiber probe for photon scanning tunneling microscope,” Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 31, L1302–L1304 (1992). [CrossRef]
  14. P. Hoffman, B. Dutoit, R. Slathé, “Comparison of mechanically drawn and protection layer chemically etched optical fiber tips,” Ultramicroscopy 61, 165–170 (1995). [CrossRef]
  15. B. I. Yakobson, P. J. Moyer, M. A. Paesler, “Kinetic limits of sensing tip morphology in near-field scanning optical microscopes,” J. Appl. Phys. 73, 7984–7986 (1993). [CrossRef]
  16. L. Novotny, D. W. Pohl, B. Hecht, “Scanning near-field optical probe with ultrasmall spot size,” Opt. Lett. 20, 970–972 (1995);“Light confinement in scanning near-field optical microscopy,” Ultramicroscopy 61, 1–9 (1995). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  17. Optical Fibers, 2 Avenue, Deeside Industrial Park, Deeside Clwyd CH5 2NX, UK.
  18. Sutter Instruments Company, 40 Levroni Court, Novato, Calif. 94949.
  19. Y. Chen, M. Garcia-Parajo, Y. Lagadec, L. Merzeau, L. Kadoche, N. Essaidi, H. Launois, “Design and implementation of a combined scanning tunneling and near-field optical microscope,” Ultramicroscopy 61, 253–258 (1995). [CrossRef]
  20. V. Kottler, N. Essaidi, C. Chappert, Y. Chen, “Dichroic imaging of magnetic domains with a scanning near-field optical microscope,” J. Magn. Magn. Mater. 165, 398–400 (1997). [CrossRef]
  21. M. Garcia, E. Cambril, Y. Chen, “Simultaneous scanning tunneling microscope and collection mode scanning near-field microscope using gold coated optical fiber probes,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 65, 1498–1500 (1994). [CrossRef]
  22. M. Seaver, M. N. Duncan, A. E. Frost, “Near-field optical microscopy at the liquid/air interface,” Ultramicroscopy 57, 219–227 (1995). [CrossRef]
  23. F. De Fornel, L. Salomon, Y. Chen, “Effect of the characteristics of the tip fiber on the detection of the near-field and on image formation with the PSTM,” in Vision Systems: New Image Processing Techniques, P. Refregier, ed., Proc. SPIE2785, 313–321 (1996). [CrossRef]
  24. J. J. Greffet, R. Carminatti, “Theory of imaging in near-field microscopy,” in Optics at the Nanometer Scale: Imaging and Storing with Photonic Near Fields, NATO ASI Series E,M. Nieto-Vesperinas, N. Garcia, eds. (Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, 1996), pp. 1–26. [CrossRef]
  25. R. Carminati, Laboratoire EM2C, Ecole Centrale Paris, 92295 Chatenay-Malabry, France (personal communication, 1996).
  26. R. Carminati, J. J. Greffet, “Direct reconstruction of surfaces from near-field intensity under spatially incoherent illumination,” Opt. Lett. 21, 501–503 (1996). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  27. J. C. Weeber, E. Bourilot, A. Dereux, J. P. Goudonnet, Y. Chen, C. Girard, “Observation of light confinement effects with a near-field optical microscope,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 77, 5332–5335 (1996). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  28. D. Van Labeke, D. Barchiesi, “Scanning-tunneling optical microscopy: a theoretical macroscopic approach,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 9, 732–739 (1992). [CrossRef]
  29. Y. Chen, R. Kupka, “Analysis of the near-field image formation of dielectric gratings,” Ultramicroscopy 57, 153–159 (1995). [CrossRef]

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited