Original Publication Date: 1985-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-18
The resolution of a near-field microscope depends on the diameter of the aperture through which the reflected light passes. A very small aperture is obtained if the opaque metal film covering a sharp, light-conducting tip is provided with a narrow opening. The tip is placed in a Scanning Tunneling Microscope and a hole (N 20 nm d) is formed by way of field migration of the metal film atoms, through melting, or through direct contact of tip and point of the Scanning Tunneling Microscope with subsequent withdrawal of the tip. With this aperture the resolution of an optical near-field microscope can be pushed below the g-limit.