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A novel micromachined aperture tip has been developed for near-field scanning optical microscopy. The advantages of the new probe over commonly used fiber probes are illustrated. The aperture tip is fabricated in a reliable batch process which has the potential for implementation in micromachining processes of scanning probe microscopy sensors and therefore leads to new types of multifunctional probes. For evaluation purposes, the tip was attached to an optical fiber by a microassembly setup and subsequently installed in a near-field scanning optical microscope. First measurements of topographical and optical near-field patterns demonstrate the proper performance of the hybrid probe. © 1997 American Institute of Physics.