Nano-apertures vs. nano-barriers: Surface scanning through obstacles and super-resolution in AFM-NSOM dual-mode

Jérémy Belhassen, David Glukhov, Matityahu Karelits, Zeev Zalevsky, Avi Karsenty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As part of the performance characterization of a combined and enhanced new AFM-NSOM tip-photo-detector, diffraction limitations were studied on two complementary samples: a nano-barrier embedded between two nano-apertures and one nano-aperture embedded between two nano-barriers. These consecutive multiple-obstacle scanning paths are part of this challenging specifications study of a new conical-shaped and drilled tip-photodetector, sharing a subwavelength aperture. A super-resolution algorithm feature was added in order to overcome possible obstacles, while scanning the same object with several small angles. The new multi-mode system includes scanning topography, optical imaging and an obstacle-overcoming algorithm. The present article study emphasizes the complexity of nano-scanning multiple-apertures/barriers. Both complementary analytical (Python) and numerical (Comsol) analyses are presented to forecast the expected scanning behavior and limitations. Moreover, in addition to a new concept of a combined AFM-NSOM drilled photo-sensor tip, several breakthroughs are presented in the algorithm itself: treatment of one unique pixel, angular scanning and reconstruction of sub-wavelength information. The uniqueness of the present study lies in its provision of a comprehensive solution to near field scanning: a paired hardware and software package solution.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100933
JournalNano-Structures and Nano-Objects
StatePublished - Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier B.V.


  • Aperture and barrier obstacles
  • Atomic Force Microscope (AFM)
  • Diffraction
  • Near-field scanning optical microscope (NSOM)
  • Numerical and analytical analyses
  • Rayleigh criterion


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