Physical Review Applied
Scanning probes with functional optical responses are key components of scanning near-field optical microscopes. For nanospectroscopy performed at IR and terahertz (THz) frequencies, one major challenge is that the commonly used metal-coated silicon tips yield nonadjustable coupling efficiency across the spectrum, which greatly limits the signal-to-noise ratio. Here, we test the possibility of a generic design scheme for wavelength-selective tip enhancement via finite-element numerical modeling. We employ a Si-based tip with various gold-coating lengths on the top, yielding a customizable near-field field strength at the tip apex. Calculations show a wavelength-dependent enhancement factor of the metal-coated tip due to the geometrical antenna resonances, which can be precisely tuned throughout a broad spectral range from visible to terahertz frequencies by adjusting the length of the metal coating. By changing the coating pattern into a chiral helical structure on an achiral tip, we also demonstrate the usefulness of coating-length effect in designing high-performance enantiomeric near-field scanning. Our methods and findings offer interesting perspectives for developing near-field optical probes, pushing the detection and resolution limits of tip-enhanced near-field detections, such as fluorescence, Raman, IR, and THz nanospectroscopies.
Zhang, Yujia; Chen, Xinzhong; ...; Qazilbash, M. M.; and al., et, Partially Metal-Coated Tips for Near-Field Nanospectroscopy (2021). Physical Review Applied, 15(1).
This work is made available for educational and personal use only. Copyright is credited to the authors. Any other uses should be directed to the publisher.