The coupling of terahertz optical techniques to scattering-type scanning near-field microscopy (s-SNOM) has recently emerged as a valuable new paradigm for probing the properties of semiconductors and other materials on the nanoscale. Researchers have demonstrated a family of related techniques, including terahertz nanoscopy (elastic scattering, based on linear optics), time-resolved methods, and nanoscale terahertz emission spectroscopy. However, as with nearly all examples of s-SNOM since the technique’s inception in the mid-1990s, the wavelength of the optical source coupled to the near-field tip is long, usually at energies of 2.5 eV or less. Challenges in coupling of shorter wavelengths (i.e., blue light) to the nanotip has greatly inhibited the study of nanoscale phenomena in wide bandgap materials such as Si and GaN. Here, we describe the first experimental demonstration of s-SNOM using blue light. With femtosecond pulses at 410 nm, we generate terahertz pulses directly from bulk silicon, spatially resolved with nanoscale resolution, and show that these signals provide spectroscopic information that cannot be obtained using near-infrared excitation. We develop a new theoretical framework to account for this nonlinear interaction, which enables accurate extraction of material parameters. This work establishes a new realm of possibilities for the study of technologically relevant wide-bandgapmore »
Optical transmission and scattering spectroscopic microscopy at the visible and adjacent wavelengths denote one of the most informative and inclusive characterization methods in material research. Unfortunately, restricted by the diffraction limit of light, it cannot resolve the nanoscale variation in light absorption and scattering, diagnostics of the local inhomogeneity in material structure and properties. Moreover, a large quantity of nanomaterials has anisotropic optical properties that are appealing yet hard to characterize through conventional optical methods. There is an increasing demand to extend the optical hyperspectral imaging into the nanometer length scale. In this work, we report a super-resolution hyperspectral imaging technique that uses a nanoscale white light source generated by superfocusing the light from a tungsten-halogen lamp to simultaneously obtain optical transmission and scattering spectroscopic images. A 6-nm spatial resolution in the visible to near-infrared wavelength regime (415–980 nm) is demonstrated on an individual single-walled carbon nanotube (SW-CNT). Both the longitudinal and transverse optical electronic transitions are measured, and the SW-CNT chiral indices can be identified. The band structure modulation in a SW-CNT through strain engineering is mapped.
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- Nature Communications
- Nature Publishing Group
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- National Science Foundation
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