A near-field scanning optical microscope: construction and operation
This thesis discusses the design and construction of a Near-field Scanning Optical Microscope (NSOM). Basic principles of operation, the characteristics of the hardware components, and the control software are discussed. A unique method of controlling the position of the probe is developed, and scans of a diffraction grating are presented. We show the influence that the surface topology and reflectivity and the interference of direct and reflected light have on the images. A second design of the instrument, for use in a vacuum chamber and with a flexure stage for lateral motion, is accomplished.