High resolution capabilities of all-silica cantilevered probes for Near-field Optical Microscopy

Emiliano Descrovi*, Laure Aeschimann, Irina Soboleva, Francesco De Angelis, Fabrizio Giorgis, Enzo Di Fabrizio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We report on the possibility of performing Near-field Scanning Optical Microscopy in illumination mode by means of microfabricated, metal-coated silica probes based on transparent cantilevers. A low spring constant silica cantilever hosts a silica tip at its end showing an hyperbolic profile and a circular symmetry. After evaporation of 100 nm of aluminium on the tip and the cantilever we processed the tip apex by means of a FIB, thus obtaining either a probe apex with an optical aperture or an apertureless probe having a thin metal layer on the top. An excellent quality of nearfield images of samples showing sub-wavelength features is obtained in both case. In particular, the apertureless probe allows highly resolved topographical and optical images to be collected at the same time. This work further demonstrates that the use of completely transparent, metal-coated cantilevers greatly simplify the light injection into the probe and the fabrication process consequently.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6460-6464
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Scanning Near-field Optical Microscopy
  • Super-resolution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Biomedical Engineering


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