PerspectiveApplied Physics

Optics in the Nano-World

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Science  21 Sep 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5538, pp. 2217-2218
DOI: 10.1126/science.1065119

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The invention of near-field scanning optical microscopy (NSOM) enabled the standard resolution limit for optical microscopy to be overcome, thus offering greatly improved spatial resolution. In their Perspective, Koch and Knorr highlight a new technique reported by Guest et al , which combines the high spatial resolution of NSOM with the high spectral resolution offered by coherent nonlinear optical spectroscopy. The authors demonstrate that the technique allows individual quantum states on a quantum dot to be resolved.