The European Physical Journal Applied Physics

Review Article

Near-field optical imaging of noble metal nanoparticles

G. P. Wiederrecht

Chemistry Division and Center for Nanoscale Materials, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL 60439, USA


A review of the subject of near-field optical imaging of metal nanoparticles is presented. The emphasis of the review is on experimental achievements in optical imaging of single metal nanoparticles and nanostructured arrays with metal nanoparticle building blocks. The importance of the measurements as they relate to nano-optical applications and scientific understanding of optical near-fields is highlighted. Advancements in scanning near-field optical microscopy (SNOM) that have enabled near-field images of these structures are also featured, as are theoretical contributions for interpreting SNOM images.

(Received June 15 2004)

(Accepted July 1 2004)

(Online publication August 13 2004)


  • 07.79.Fc – Near-field scanning optical microscopes;
  • 78.67.Bf – Nanocrystals and nanoparticles;
  • 71.45.Gm – Exchange, correlation, dielectric and magnetic response functions, plasmons