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Toward Mid-Infrared, Subdiffraction, Spectral-Mapping of Human Cells and Tissue: SNIM (Scanning Near-Field Infrared Microscopy) Tip Fabrication

Neate, Nigel; Fay, Mike; Parmenter, Chris; Athanasiou, Giorgos S.; Ernst, Johanna; Furniss, David; Benson, Trevor M.; Chauhan, Jasbinder; Middleton, John; Parmenter, Christopher D.J.; Fay, Mike W.; Neate, Nigel C.; Shiryaev, Vladimir; Churbanov, Mikhail F.; Seddon, Angela B.


Nigel Neate

Mike Fay

Chris Parmenter

Giorgos S. Athanasiou

Johanna Ernst

Trevor M. Benson

Jasbinder Chauhan

John Middleton

Christopher D.J. Parmenter

Mike W. Fay

Nigel C. Neate

Vladimir Shiryaev

Mikhail F. Churbanov

Professor of Inorganic Materials


Scanning near-field infrared microscopy (SNIM) potentially enables subdiffraction, broadband mid-infrared (MIR:3–25-μm wavelength range) spectral-mapping of human cells and tissue for real-time molecular sensing, with prospective use in disease diagnosis. SNIM requires an MIR-transmitting tip of small aperture for photon collection. Here, chalcogenide-glass optical fibers are reproducibly tapered at one end to form a MIR transmitting tip for SNIM. A wet-etching method is used to form the tip. The tapering sides of the tip are Al-coated. These Al-coated tapered-tips exhibit near-field power-confinement when acting either as the launch-end or exit-end of the MIR optical fiber. We report first time optimal cleaving of the end of the tapered tip using focused ion beam milling. A flat aperture is produced at the end of the tip, which is orthogonal to the fiber-axis and of controlled diameter. A FIB-cleaved aperture is used to collect MIR spectra of cells mounted on a transflection plate, under illumination of a synchrotron- generated wideband MIR beam.


Neate, N., Fay, M., Parmenter, C., Athanasiou, G. S., Ernst, J., Furniss, D., …Seddon, A. B. (2016). Toward Mid-Infrared, Subdiffraction, Spectral-Mapping of Human Cells and Tissue: SNIM (Scanning Near-Field Infrared Microscopy) Tip Fabrication. Journal of Lightwave Technology, 34(4), 1212-1219.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 21, 2015
Online Publication Date Nov 4, 2015
Publication Date Feb 15, 2016
Deposit Date Mar 4, 2016
Publicly Available Date Mar 4, 2016
Journal Journal of Lightwave Technology
Print ISSN 0733-8724
Electronic ISSN 1558-2213
Publisher Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 34
Issue 4
Pages 1212-1219
Keywords Chalcogenide Glass, Chemical Etching, Fiber Processing, Mid-Infrared, Transflection Spectra
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Additional Information © 2015 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works.


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