Near-field spectroscopy of silicon dioxide thin films

L. M. Zhang, G. O. Andreev, Z. Fei, A. S. McLeod, G. Dominguez, M. Thiemens, A. H. Castro-Neto, D. N. Basov, and M. M. Fogler

Physical Review B, 85, p.075419 (2012)
We analyze the results of scanning near-field infrared spectroscopy performed on thin films of a-SiO2 on Si substrate. The measured near-field signal exhibits surface-phonon resonances whose strength has a prominent thickness dependence in the range from 2 to 300 nm. These observations are compared with calculations in which the tip of the near-field infrared spectrometer is modeled either as a point dipole or an elongated spheroid. The latter model accounts for the antenna effect of the tip and gives a better agreement with the experiment. Possible applications of the near-field technique for depth profiling of layered nanostructures are discussed.