Skip to Main Content
Optical amplitude distributions of light inside periodic photonic structures are visualized with subwavelength resolution. In addition, using a phase-sensitive photon scanning tunneling microscope, we simultaneously map the phase evolution of light. Two different structures, which consist of a ridge waveguide containing periodic arrays of nanometer scale features, are investigated. We determine the wavelength dependence of the exponential decay rate inside the periodic arrays. Furthermore, various interference patterns are observed, which we interpret as interference between light reflected by the substrate and light inside the waveguide. The phase information obtained reveals scattering phenomena around the periodic array, which gives rise to phase jumps and phase singularities. Locally around the air rods, we observe an unexpected change in effective refractive index, a possible indication for anomalous dispersion resulting from the periodicity of the array.