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Optical analogue of an RF vector network analyzer

Research Achievements

Optical analogue of an RF vector network analyzer

IGERT trainee R.O. collaborated with researchers at the University of Central Florida and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to develop the first optical analogue of an RF vector network analyzer, implemented by scattering-type scanning near-field optical microscopy (s-SNOM), combining physics, chemistry and electrical engineering. Vector-resolution is obtained by engineering the s-SNOM probe tip to optimize sensitivity to the in-plane and out-of-plane electric near-field components, enabling nanometer spatial resolution of a complete near-field vector maps of the electric and magnetic field distribution, as well as the line current distribution. The characterization of the current distribution provides a direct view of the inter-antenna coupling, important information for the optimization of antenna coupled sensors. In addition, the extraction of the magnetic field is significant as such, since measurement of optical magnetic fields has been challenging in general.