λ/4 optical monopole antenna on aperture probe


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On the nanometer scale diffraction is a serious obstacle for lens-based imaging. Alternative approaches are currently explored: sharp tips, nanoparticles, plasmonic guides and superlensing metamaterials. Interestingly radio frequency antenna designs give important clues for nano-antennas at optical frequencies. We fabricate free-standing metallic nano-antennas of controlled shape and dimensions, using focused ion beam technology. We exploit single fluorescent molecules as point detectors to probe the local antenna field. The nano-antennas have applications in nano-scale optical microscopy, lithography and data storage.

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