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Abstract

Scanning near-field optical microscopy (SNOM) makes it routinely possible to overcome the fundamental diffraction limit of standard (far-field) microscopy. Recently, aperture-based infrared SNOM performed in the spectroscopic mode,using the Vanderbilt University free electron laser,started delivering spatially-resolved information on the distribution of chemical species and on other laterally-fluctuating properties.The practical examples presented here show the great potential of this new technique both in materials science and in life sciences.

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