Abstract

We present exact calculations of the scattering of light by a system consisting of a dielectric corrugated interface in the presence of a metallic nanocylinder at a subwavelength distance from the interface. This system simulates a two-dimensional version of a nanoparticle close to a surface in three dimensions. The sample is illuminated from its dielectric side by an s-polarized, focused beam at either normal or total internal reflection incidence. It is shown that the field scattered by the cylinder projects into the far zone the near-field distribution transmitted by the sample, thus acting as a probe that encodes in the far field the subwavelength topographic details of the surface. This process, however, requires filtering of the far-field intensity so that the signal coming from the tip is extracted out of the component that is due to the surface. The dependence of superresolution on nanocylinder size and the distance to the sample is discussed. Also, the dependence of image contrast on the probe path as it raster scans the sample is analyzed.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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