Whispering gallery modes in cylindrical integrated optics microcavities have, for what is to our knowledge the first time, been mapped with a photon scanning tunneling microscope. Optical images were obtained with a spatial resolution of 50 nm. By combination of information on the spatial optical distributions with wavelength-dependent measurements, an unexpectedly rich variety of intracavity phenomena, such as polarization conversion and interference of copropagating and counterpropagating modes, could be directly observed. A quantitative comparison of the experimental data with computer simulations results in a comprehensive understanding of the various whispering gallery modes inside the microcavity.
© 1999 Optical Society of America
(130.0130) Integrated optics : Integrated optics
(130.3120) Integrated optics : Integrated optics devices
(170.0110) Medical optics and biotechnology : Imaging systems
(170.5810) Medical optics and biotechnology : Scanning microscopy
M. L. M. Balistreri, D.J. W. Klunder, F. C. Blom, A. Driessen, H. W. J. M. Hoekstra, J. P. Korterik, L. Kuipers, and N. F. van Hulst, "Visualizing the whispering gallery modes in a cylindrical optical microcavity," Opt. Lett. 24, 1829-1831 (1999)