Infrared scanning near-field optical microscopy below the diffraction limit

Jasbinder S. Sanghera, Ishwar D. Aggarwal, Antonio Cricenti, Renato Generosi, Marco Luce, Paolo Perfetti, Giorgio Margaritondo, Norman H. Tolk, David Piston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Infrared scanning near-field optical microscopy (IR-SNOM) is an extremely powerful analytical instrument since it combines IR spectroscopy's high chemical specificity with SNOM's high spatial resolution. In order to do this in the infrared, specialty chalcogenide glass fibers were fabricated and their ends tapered to generate SNOM probes. The fiber tips were installed in a modified near-field microscope and both inorganic and biological samples illuminated with the tunable output from a free-electron laser located at Vanderbilt University. Both topographical and IR spectral images were simultaneously recorded with a resolution of ∼50 and ∼100 nm, respectively. Unique spectroscopic features were identified in all samples, with spectral images exhibiting resolutions of up to λ/60, or at least 30 times better than the diffraction limited lens-based microscopes. We believe that IR-SNOM can provide a very powerful insight into some of the most important biomedical research topics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4636777
Pages (from-to)1343-1352
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2008


  • Infrared fibers
  • Spectroscopy
  • Tapered fiber tips


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