Detection of probe dither motion in near-field scanning optical microscopy

Fred F. Froehlich, Tom D. Milster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The probe-to-sample separation in near-field scanning optical microscopes can be regulated by a noncontact shear-force sensing technique. The technique requires the measurement of a minute dither motion applied to the probe. We have characterized an optical detection method for measuring this motion to determine the optimum detection configuration in terms of sensitivity and stability. A scalar diffraction model of the detection method is developed for calculating sensitivity, and experimental results are found to be in good agreement with the theoretical predictions. We find that maximum sensitivity and stability cannot be achieved simultaneously, and it may be desirable in practice to trade sensitivity for enhanced stability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7273-7279
Number of pages7
JournalApplied optics
Issue number31
StatePublished - Nov 1995


  • Near-field scanning optical microscopy
  • Shear-force microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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