Nanometric Illumination


*See below for reference

A Nano Light:

Have you ever wanted to do a photocurrent map with a spot of less than 100 nm’s? NSOM illumination allows for controlled high resolution illumination. Nanonics apertured NSOM probes are the ideal nano-light source with no background light to remove as with apertureless illumination protocols. A cantilevered, tapered optical fiber the light propagates through the probe to create a point of light (~30-100 nm) with virtually no Z penetration. In combination with Nanonics MultiView tip and sample scanning systems the point of light can be easily scanned across the sample or moved to specific points for illumination.


Key Features

Controlled nano-illumination point

No background light or noise

The point can be easily scanned and moved (mapping)

Ability to scan the NSOM probe in apertured NSOM

Controlled localized nano-illumination point

No complex far-field illumination schemes

The point of light can be easily positioned and scanned

Clear optical view of NSOM illumination point and sample


Exemplary Paper

Role of contacts in graphene transistors: A scanning photocurrent study

Mueller, T., Xia, F., Freitag, M., Tsang, J., & Avouris, P. (2009). Role of contacts in graphene transistors: A scanning photocurrent study. Physical Review B, 79(24), 245430

nanometric setup
Schematic of Experiment.
Background Free
Background free nano-photocurrent imaging of a graphene transistor:

In this important work in the development of the first Graphene transistor a Nanonics NSOM probe with an MV 2000 is used to locally induce photocurrent in a graphene transistor with high spatial resolution. By analyzing the spatially resolved photoresponse, the IBM ground discovered that in the n-type conduction regime a p-n-p structure forms along the graphene device due to the doping of the graphene by the metal contacts. Furthermore, we show that photocurrent imaging can be used to probe single-layer/multilayer graphene interfaces.

Link to abstract

About the author:

Thomas Mueller is the Principal Investigator of the Nanoscale Electronics and Optoelectronics Group at Vienna University of Technology. Prof. Mueller's group investigates graphene and related 2d materials, such as layered transition metal dichalcogenides, for applications in electronics and optoelectronics.


Local detection of electromagnetic energy transport below the diffraction limit in metal nanoparticle plasmon waveguides
Maier, S. a, Kik, P. G., Atwater, H. a, Meltzer, S., Harel, E., Koel, B. E., & Requicha, A. a G. (2003). Local detection of electromagnetic energy transport below the diffraction limit in metal nanoparticle plasmon waveguides. Nature Materials, 2(4), 229–32. Nature

In this breakthrough work, electromagnetic energy transport is clearly shown for the first time in a plasmonic waveguide fabricated of metal nanoparticles. A chain of metal nano-particles, spaced 50 nm’s apart, were excited at a single nanoparticle with an NSOM probe and energy transport to a fluorescent nano sphere was clearly seen. At the time of publication, only collective illumination of such waveguides had been tested, not allowing for conclusive confirmation of energy transport along the waveguide. With the ability of an NSOM probe to target a specific nanoparticle energy transport was confirmed for the first time. This important work has been cited over 1800 times to date.

About the Author:

Professor Maier is the Lee-Lucas Chair in Experimental Physics and head of the nanoplasmonics group in the Condensed Matter Physics Section. He further serves as Head of the Experimental Solid State Physics Group and as Director of Postgraduate Studies for the department.

Nanoscale Imaging of Photocurrent and Efficiency in CdTe Solar Cells.

Leite, M. S., Abashin, M., Lezec, H. J., Gianfrancesco, A., Talin, A. A., & Zhitenev, N. B. (2014). Nanoscale Imaging of Photocurrent and E ffi ciency in CdTe Solar Cells. ACS Nano, 8(11), 11883–11890.

Link to abstract



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