A hybrid finite-difference time-domain and angular-spectrum propagation modeling technique is used to study the imaging properties of a near-field optical scanning system with dielectric samples. The model is used to calculate system transfer functions based on scanning sinusoidal gratings of various spatial periods or on scanning a straight edge and then taking a derivative and a Fourier transform. Results from these two methods are in good agreement. A square-wave grating is simulated by linear addition of component sine-wave grating images that are weighted by the transfer function. The image generated by this method agrees well with an image generated by direct use of the hybrid model. In the region of parameter space investigated with the model, the near-field optical scanning system exhibits nearly linear behavior. The region of linear operation depends on the index of the sample and on the probe-to-sample spacing.
© 1995 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: September 19, 1994
Revised Manuscript: April 5, 1995
Manuscript Accepted: April 5, 1995
Published: August 1, 1995
Joshua L. Kann, Richard W. Ziolkowski, Justin B. Judkins, Tom D. Milster, and Fred F. Froehlich, "Linear behavior of a near-field optical scanning system," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 12, 1677-1682 (1995)