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Proceedings Paper

Surface electromagnetic waves in near-field optical scanning microscopy
Author(s): Montserrat Freixa Pascual; Wolfgang Zierau; Tamara A. Leskova; Alexei A. Maradudin
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Paper Abstract

Because their electromagnetic fields are localized to the surfaces that support them, surface electromagnetic waves are more sensitive to topographical and dielectric perturbations in their propagation path than are volume electromagnetic waves incident on the same surface perturbations. This suggests that a near-field optical microscopy based on surface electromagnetic waves could reconstruct surface profiles with greater resolution than one based on the scattering of volume electromagnetic waves from surfaces with the same profiles. In this work we examine this possibility by studying the scattering of a surface plasmon polariton propagating along a vacuum-metal interface and incident on a surface defect. We calculate the intensity of the total field in the vacuum region at constant height above the unperturbed surface to first order in the surface profile function. The result can be written in the form of a convolution of the surface profile function and a function that depends only on the properties of the metal surface. We invert this result by a Fourier transform method to obtain the surface profile function. As experimental intensity data we use the results of a rigorous numerical solution of the corresponding reduced Rayleigh equation for the scattering amplitude. We show that surface structures with lateral dimensions of the order of or smaller than one-tenth the wavelength of the incident surface plasmon polariton can be reconstructed in this way, as well as extended segments of a randomly rough surface profile.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 October 1998
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 3426, Scattering and Surface Roughness II, (30 October 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.328443
Show Author Affiliations
Montserrat Freixa Pascual, Univ. Federal de Goias (Brazil)
Wolfgang Zierau, Univ.of Muenster (Germany)
Tamara A. Leskova, Institute of Spectroscopy (United States)
Alexei A. Maradudin, Univ. of California/Irvine (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3426:
Scattering and Surface Roughness II
Zu-Han Gu; Alexei A. Maradudin, Editor(s)

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