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THz differential near-field scanning optical microscopy for biological applications

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6 Author(s)
R. Degl'Innocenti ; Scuola Normale Superiore, Laboratorio NEST, Complesso San Silvestro, Piazza 12 - 56127 Pisa, Italy ; M. Montinaro ; V. Piazza ; P. Pingue
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The work describes a differential near-field scanning optical microscopy (DNSOM) mechanism, which represents a valuable tool for imaging with sub-wavelength resolution. In this approach the acquisition is carried out using squared apertures with dimensions comparable with the wavelength. The aperture, mounted on a xy translational stage driven with piezo-actuators, is scanned in the near field of the object of interest, illuminated by a laser source. In the measurements, a THz quantum cascade laser (QCL) laser is employed emitting at 2.9 THz.The resolution is presently limited by the numerical aperture of the light collection system and by the relative aperture-sample distance. Next steps consist in further improvements of the system in order to reach a resolution of ~ 1 mum and in the spectroscopic analysis of biological samples.

Published in:

Lasers and Electro-Optics 2009 and the European Quantum Electronics Conference. CLEO Europe - EQEC 2009. European Conference on

Date of Conference:

14-19 June 2009