M. C. Giordano, S. Mastel, C. Liewald, L. L. Columbo, M. Brambilla, L. Viti, A. Politano, K. Zhang, L. Li, A. G. Davies, E. H. Linfield, R. Hillenbrand, F. Keilmann, G. Scamarcio and M, S. Vitiello
Optics Express 26, 18423 (2018)
At terahertz (THz) frequencies, scattering-type scanning near-field optical microscopy (s-SNOM) based on continuous wave sources mostly relies on cryogenic and bulky detectors, which represents a major constraint for its practical application. Here, we devise a THz s-SNOM system that provides both amplitude and phase contrast and achieves nanoscale (60-70nm) in-plane spatial resolution. It features a quantum cascade laser that simultaneously emits THz frequency light and senses the backscattered optical field through a voltage modulation induced inherently through the self-mixing technique. We demonstrate its performance by probing a phonon-polariton-resonant CsBr crystal and doped black phosphorus flakes.