Scanning Near-Field Optical Microscopy (SNOM) has developed during recent decades into a valuable tool to optically image the surface topology of materials with super-resolution. With aperture-based SNOM systems, the resolution scales with the size of the aperture, but also limits the sensitivity of the detection and thus the application for spectroscopic techniques like Raman SNOM. In this paper we report the extension of solid immersion lens (SIL) technology to Raman SNOM. The hemispherical SIL with a tip on the bottom acts as an apertureless dielectric nanoprobe for simultaneously acquiring topographic and spectroscopic information. The SIL is placed between the sample and the microscope objective of a confocal Raman microscope. The lateral resolution in the Raman mode is validated with a cross section of a semiconductor layer system and, at approximately 180 nm, is beyond the classical diffraction limit of Abbe.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.