Low-Cost Hybrid Plasmoni and Photonic "Campanile" Near-Field Probes by Nanoimprint Lithography

Period of Performance: 02/21/2017 - 11/20/2017


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Abeam Technologies
22290 Foothill Blvd St. 2
Hayward, CA 94541
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
One Cyclotron Road, 971-SP
Berkeley, CA 94720
Institution POC


Near-field scanning optical microscopy (NSOM) is a powerful and unique approach to characterize the chemical, physical and potentially biochemical properties of materials with the nanometer scale resolution in real-time. A key element for NSOM systems that combine optical spectroscopy with scanning probe microscopy, is the actual probe itself. While many commercial vendors offer off-the-shelf metal-coated tips, only one in ten tips offers enough field enhancement to start performing spectroscopic measurements. There is a critical need for the development of reliable, efficient, and broadband near-field probes.Statement of How this Problem or Situation is Being Addressed: Optical transformer based “campanile ” near-field probe has been proven to show superior spatial resolution and optical throughput, and eliminate unwanted background signals. aBeam Technologies Inc. in collaboration with Molecular Foundry at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), proposes to develop a novel hybrid plasmonic and photonic near-field probes, expanding from the previous campanile architecture to boost the optical performance. Manufacturing technology will be based on low-cost and high throughput nanoimprint lithography directly onto the facets of the fiber, to ensure that the probes will be reasonably priced. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: The fundamental spatial resolution for optical based techniques is limited to a few hundred nanometers due to the diffraction limit, and is not suitable to probe and distinguish spatially varying properties of matter at the nanometer scale. This revolutionary imaging tool will circumvent this limitation and will be used in a broad range of applications including solar-cells, new hard drives and artificial proteins