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Photonics Spectra
Sep 1997
Near-Field Optics Tie Spectrum to Space

Michael K. Robinson, News Editor

Imagine watching a single chemical bond be created or broken, examining a crystalis molecular arrangement or seeing the molecular distribution of lipids, proteins, and minerals in clogged arteries. Increasingly, this is the kind of work that researchers in near-field spectroscopy are doing.
Using a fairly new technique known as near-field scanning optical microscopy, researchers can simultaneously create spectroscopic and optical images with resolutions below 100 nm.
These near-field techniques have allowed chemists and physicists to explore the nanostructure of crystals in polymer LEDs, solar cells and chemical sensors, and biologists to see protein complexes in and on cells.

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