A compact fluorescence and polarization near-field scanning optical microscope
We present a transmission, fluorescence, and polarization near-field scanning optical microscope with shear-force feedback control that is small in size and simple to operate. This microscope features an ultrafine mechanical tip/sample approach with continuous manual submicron control over a range of several millimeters. The piezo-driven 12 μm x-y scan range is complimented by a 4 mm coarse mechanical translation range in each direction. The construction materials used in the mechanical feedback loop have been carefully chosen for thermal compatibility in order to reduce differential expansion and contraction between the tip and sample. A unique pressure-fit sample mount allows for quick and reliable sample exchange. Shear-force feedback light is delivered to the scan head via an optical fiber so that a remote laser of any type may be used as a source. This dither light is collimated and refocused onto the tip, delivering a consistently small spot which is collected by a high numerical aperture objective. This new scan head incorporates an optical system which will permit the linearization of scan piezo response similar to a scheme used successfully with atomic force microscopy. This is designed to both overcome the piezo's inherent hysteresis and to eliminate drift during long duration spatial scans or spectroscopic measurements at a single location. The scan head design offers added flexibility due to the use of optical fibers to deliver the dither and scan linearization light, and functions in any orientation for use in conjunction with upright or inverted optical microscopes © 1998 American Institute of Physics.
Merritt, G; Monson, E; Betzig, E; Kopelman, R
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