Broadband near-field infrared spectroscopy with a high temperature plasma light source

D. J. Lahneman, T. J. Huffman, Peng Xu, S. L. Wang, T. Grogan and M. M. Qazilbash

Optics Express 25, 20421-20430 (2017)
Scattering-type scanning near-field optical microscopy (S-SNOM) has enormous potential as a spectroscopy tool in the infrared spectral range where it can probe phonon resonances and carrier dynamics at the nanometer lengths scales. However, its applicability is limited by the lack of practical and affordable table-top light sources emitting intense broadband infrared radiation in the 100 cm−1 to 2,500 cm−1 spectral range. This paper introduces a high temperature plasma light source that is both ultra-broadband and has much more radiant power in the infrared spectral range than conventional, table-top thermal light sources such as the globar. We implement this plasma lamp in our near-field optical spectroscopy set up and demonstrate its capability as a broadband infrared nano-spectroscopy light source by obtaining near-field infrared amplitude and phase spectra of the phonon resonances of SiO2 and SrTiO3.