Apertureless scanning near-field optical microscopy: A comparison between homodyne and heterodyne approaches

Lewis Gomez, Renaud Bachelot, Alexandre Bouhelier, Gary P. Wiederrecht*, Shih Hui Chang, Stephen K. Gray, Feng Hua, Seokwoo Jeon, John A. Rogers, Miguel E. Castro, Sylvain Blaize, Ilan Stefanon, Gilles Lerondel, Pascal Royer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


In coherent homodyne apertureless scanning near-field optical microscopy (ASNOM) the background field cannot be fully suppressed because of the interference between the different collected fields, making the images difficult to interpret. We show that implementing the heterodyne version of ASNOM allows one to overcome this issue. We present a comparison between homodyne and heterodyne ASNOM through near-field analysis of gold nanowells, integrated waveguides, and a single evanescent wave generated by total internal reflection. The heterodyne approach allows for the control of the interferometric effect with the background light. In particular, the undesirable background is shown to be replaced by a controlled reference field. As a result, nearfield information undetectable by a homodyne ASNOM is extracted by use of the heterodyne approach. Additionally, it is shown that field amplitude and field phase can be detected separately.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)823-833
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Optical Society of America B: Optical Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


Dive into the research topics of 'Apertureless scanning near-field optical microscopy: A comparison between homodyne and heterodyne approaches'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this