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NSOM: Discovering New Worlds

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Near-field scanning optical microscopy (NSOM) is an optical microscopy technique capable of imaging objects with a resolution below the diffraction limit of conventional (far-field) microscopy; i.e., below approximately half the wavelength of the light used.

M. Kovar, Midako A. Nohe, N.O. Petersen and P.R. Norton, University of Western Ontario

NSOM is suitable for studies on the mesoscopic scale (several tens to hundreds of molecular dimensions). It has become an important tool in research and applications of semiconductors, organic layers and membranes, biological materials and optics. The technique exists under two different names: NSOM results from the focus of the Cornell group on near-field optics, while the name scanning near-field optical microscopy (SNOM), used by the IBM group, stresses its focus on the scanning part of the instrument because of IBM’s previous invention of the scanning tunneling microscope...Read full article

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