THz Near-Field Microscopy and Spectroscopy

by Hans-Georg von Ribbeck

Institution: Technische Universität Dresden
Department: Fakultät Mathematik und Naturwissenschaften
Degree: PhD
Year: 2015
Record ID: 1100799
Full text PDF: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:bsz:14-qucosa-163917


Imaging with THz radiation at nanoscale resolution is highly desirable for specific material investigations that cannot be obtained in other parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. Nevertheless, classical free-space focusing of THz waves is limited to a >100 μm spatial resolution, due to the diffraction limit. However, the scattering- type scanning near-field optical microscopy (s-SNOM) promises to break this diffraction barrier. In this work, the realization of s-SNOM and spectroscopy for the THz spectral region from 30–300 μm (1–10 THz) is presented. This has been accomplished by using two inherently different radiation sources at distinct experimental setups: A femtosecond laser driven photoconductive antenna, emitting pulsed broadband THz radiation from 0.2–2 THz and a free-electron laser (FEL) as narrow-band high-intensity source, tunable from 1.3–10 THz. With the photoconductive antenna system, it was demonstrated for the first time that near-field spectroscopy using broadband THz-pulses, is achievable. Hereby, Terahertz time-domain spectroscopy with a mechanical delay stage (THz-TDS) was realized to obtain spectroscopic s-SNOM information, with an additional asynchronous optical sampling (ASOPS) option for rapid far-field measurements. The near-field spectral capabilities of the microscope are demonstrated with measurements on gold and on variably doped silicon samples. Here it was shown that the spectral response follows the theoretical prediction according to the Drude and the dipole model. While the broadband THz-TDS based s-SNOM in principle allows for the parallel recording of the full spectral response, the weak average power of the THz source ultimately limits the technique to optically investigate selected sample locations only. Therefore, for true THz near-field imaging, a FEL as a high-intensity narrow- band but highly-tunable THz source in combination with the s-SNOM technique, has been explored. Here, the characteristic near-field signatures at wavelengths from 35–230 μm are shown. Moreover, the realization of material sensitive THz near-field imaging is demonstrated by optically resolving, a structured gold rod with a reso- lution of up to 60 nm at 98 μm wavelength. Not only can the gold be distinguished from the silica substrate but moreover parts of the structure have been identified to be residual resin from the fabrication process. Furthermore, in order to explore the resolution capabilities of the technique, the near-fields of patterned gold nano- structures (Fischer pattern) were imaged with a 50 nm resolution at wavelengths up to 230 μm (1.2 THz). Finally, the imaging of a topography-independent optical material contrast of embedded organic structures, at exemplary 150 μm wavelength is shown, thereby demonstrating that the recorded near-field signal alone allows us to identify materials on the nanometer scale. The ability to measure spectroscopic images by THz-s-SNOM, will be of benefit to fundamental research into nanoscale composites, nano-structured conductivity phenomena and…