Scanning near field optical microscopy (SNOM) is the optical alternative of the scanning probe microscopical techniques which enables a lateral resolution down to about 10 nm, unlimited by diffraction. Moreover, the potential of non-destructive imaging of chemical and biological samples with nanometer resolution in ambient conditions is a crucial advantage over electron microscopy.
An integrated microscope has been constructed which allows simultaneous detection of optical and force interaction between a microfabricated SiN probe and a sample surface. Images are obtained in a transmission mode by detection of the light emanating from a "supertip" in contact with the sample surface and illuminated by total internal reflection. Physical and technical aspects of the instrument are discussed and illustrated with typical images.
Moers, M. H. P.; Tack, R. G.; van Hulst, N. F.; and Bölger, B.
"A Combined Near Field Optical and Force Microscope,"
Scanning Microscopy: Vol. 7
, Article 3.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/microscopy/vol7/iss3/3