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 A Brief History and Simple Description of NSOM/SNOM Technology

      SOM (SNOM) Overview

      The limits of far field imaging

          In the early 1870s, Ernst Abbe formulated a rigorous criterion for being able to resolve two objects in a light microscope:

d > λ / (2sinθ)

          where d = the distance between the two objects, λ = the wavelength of the incident light, and
2θ = the angle through which the light is collected.According to this equation, the best
resolution achievable with optical light is about 200 nm. With the introduction of NSOM
(near-field scanning optical microscopy, also known as SNOM, scanning near-field optical
microscopy), this limitation no longer exists, and optical resolution of < 50 nm can be achieved.