Bow-tie optical antenna probes for single-emitter scanning near-field optical microscopy
A method for the fabrication of bow-tie optical antennas at the apex of pyramidal Si3N4 atomic force microscopy tips is described. We demonstrate that these novel optical probes are capable of sub-wavelength imaging of single quantum dots at room temperature. The enhanced and confined optical near-field at the antenna feed gap leads to locally enhanced photoluminescence (PL) of single quantum dots. Photoluminescence quenching due to the proximity of metal is found to be insignificant. The method holds promise for single quantum emitter imaging and spectroscopy at spatial resolution limited by the engineered antenna gap width exclusively.