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Liewald, Clemens; Mastel, Stefan; Hesler, Jeffrey; Huber, Andreas J.; Hillenbrand, Rainer; Keilmann, Fritz (2018): All-electronic terahertz nanoscopy. In: Optica, Vol. 5, No. 2: pp. 159-163


Probing conductivity in a contactless way with nanoscale resolution is a pressing demand in such active fields as quantum materials, superconductivity, and molecular electronics. Here, we demonstrate a laser-and cryogen-free microwave-technology-based scattering-type scanning near-field optical microscope powered by an easily aligned free-space beam with a tunable frequency up to 0.75 THz. It uses Schottky diode components to record background-free amplitude and phase nano-images, for the first time in the terahertz range, which is uniquely sensitive for assessing conduction phenomena. Images of Si with doped nanostructures prove a conductance sensitivity corresponding to 10(16) cm(-3) mobile carriers, at 50 nm spatial resolution.