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near-field scanning optical microscope (NSOM)

A scanning probe microscope that analyzes the surface of a specimen by recording the intensity of light as it is focused through a pipette and raster scanned across the specimen at a distance less than a wavelength. The resolution and high contrast output of the near-field scanning optical microscope allows for  the study of various properties of the specimen under observation including refractive index, local stresses, as well as chemical structures.


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