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Differential near-field scanning optical microscopy with THz quantum cascade laser sources

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>21/12/2009
<mark>Journal</mark>Optics Express
Issue number26
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)23785-23792
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


We have realized a differential Near-field Scanning Optical Microscope (NSOM) working with subwavelength resolution in the THz spectral region. The system employs a quantum cascade laser emitting at λ ∼ 105 μ as source, and the method, differently from conventional NSOM, involves diffracting apertures with size comparable to the wavelength. This concept ensures a higher signal-to-noise level at the expense of an additional computational step. In the implementation here reported λ/10 resolution has been achieved; present limiting factors are investigated through finite difference time domain simulations.