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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: Joseph N. Mait
  • Vol. 52, Iss. 3 — Jan. 20, 2013
  • pp: 330–339

Analysis of the shape of a subwavelength focal spot for the linearly polarized light

Victor V. Kotlyar, Sergey S. Stafeev, Yikun Liu, Liam O’Faolain, and Alexey A. Kovalev  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 52, Issue 3, pp. 330-339 (2013)

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By decomposing a linearly polarized light field in terms of plane waves, the elliptic intensity distribution across the focal spot is shown to be determined by the E-vector’s longitudinal component. Considering that the Poynting vector’s projection onto the optical axis (power flux) is independent of the E-vector’s longitudinal component, the power flux cross section has a circular form. Using a near-field scanning optical microscope (NSOM) with a small-aperture metal tip, we show that a glass zone plate (ZP) having a focal length of one wavelength focuses a linearly polarized Gaussian beam into a weak ellipse with the Cartesian axis diameters FWHMx=(0.44±0.02)λ and FWHMy=(0.52±0.02)λ and the (depth of focus) DOF=(0.75±0.02)λ, where λ is the incident wavelength. The comparison of the experimental and simulation results suggests that NSOM with a hollow pyramidal aluminum-coated tip (with 70° apex and 100 nm diameter aperture) measures the transverse intensity, rather than the power flux or the total intensity. The conclusion that the small-aperture metal tip measures the transverse intensity can be inferred from the Bethe–Bouwkamp theory.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(050.1380) Diffraction and gratings : Binary optics
(180.4243) Microscopy : Near-field microscopy

ToC Category:

Original Manuscript: August 31, 2012
Revised Manuscript: November 28, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: November 30, 2012
Published: January 11, 2013

Virtual Issues
Vol. 8, Iss. 2 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Victor V. Kotlyar, Sergey S. Stafeev, Yikun Liu, Liam O’Faolain, and Alexey A. Kovalev, "Analysis of the shape of a subwavelength focal spot for the linearly polarized light," Appl. Opt. 52, 330-339 (2013)

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