Method to deterministically study photonic nanostructures in different experimental instruments
J. Microsc. , Volume 233 p. 18- 23
We describe an experimental method to recover a single, deterministically fabricated nanostructure in various experimental instruments without the use of artificially fabricated markers, with the aim to study photonic structures. Therefore, a detailed map of the spatial surroundings of the nanostructure is made during the fabrication of the structure. These maps are made using a series of micrographs with successively decreasing magnifications. The graphs reveal intrinsic and characteristic geometric features that can subsequently be used in different setups to act as markers. As an illustration, we probe surface cavities with radii of 65 nm on a silica opal photonic crystal with various setups: a focused ion beam workstation; a scanning electron microscope (SEM); a wide field optical microscope and a confocal microscope. We use cross-correlation techniques to recover a small area imaged with the SEM in a large area photographed with the optical microscope, which provides a possible avenue to automatic searching. We show how both structural and optical reflectivity data can be obtained from one and the same nanostructure. Since our approach does not use artificial grids or markers, it is of particular interest for samples whose structure is not known a priori, like samples created solely by self-assembly. In addition, our method is not restricted to conducting samples.