λ/4 resonance of an optical monopole antenna probed by single molecule fluorescence
We present a resonant optical nanoantenna positioned at the end of a metal-coated glass fiber near-field probe. Antenna resonances, excitation conditions, and field localization are directly probed in the near field by single fluorescent molecules and compared to finite integration technique simulations. It is shown that the antenna is equivalent to its radio frequency analogue, the monopole antenna. For the right antenna length and local excitation conditions, antenna resonances occur that lead to an enhanced localized field near the antenna apex. Direct mapping of this field with single fluorescent molecules reveals a spatial localization of 25 nm, demonstrating the importance of such antennas for nanometer resolution optical microscopy.