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Near-field magneto-optical microscope

United States Patent

December 6, 2005
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A device and method for mapping magnetic fields of a sample at a resolution less than the wavelength of light without altering the magnetic field of the sample is disclosed. A device having a tapered end portion with a magneto-optically active particle positioned at the distal end thereof in communication with a fiber optic for transferring incoming linearly polarized light from a source thereof to the particle and for transferring reflected light from the particle is provided. The fiber optic has a reflective material trapping light within the fiber optic and in communication with a light detector for determining the polarization of light reflected from the particle as a function of the strength and direction of the magnetic field of the sample. Linearly polarized light from the source thereof transferred to the particle positioned proximate the sample is affected by the magnetic field of the sample sensed by the particle such that the difference in polarization of light entering and leaving the particle is due to the magnetic field of the sample. Relative movement between the particle and sample enables mapping.
Vlasko-Vlasov; Vitalii K. (Downers Grove, IL), Welp; Ulrich (Lisle, IL), Crabtree; George W. (Chicago, IL)
The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy (Washington, DC)
10/ 945,953
September 22, 2004
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Agreement between Argonne National Laboratory and pursuant to the employer-employee relationship of the U.S. Department of Energy and the inventors.