Imaging light scattered by a subwavelength nanofiber, from near field to far field

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We present a direct experimental investigation of the optical field distribution around a suspended tapered optical nanofiber by means of a fluorescent scanning probe. Using a 100 nm diameter fluorescent bead as a probe of the field intensity, we study interferences made by a nanofiber (400 nm diameter) scattering a plane wave (568 nm wavelength). Our scanning fluorescence near-field microscope maps the optical field over 36 \&\#x003BC;m2, with \&\#x003BB;\&\#x0002F;5 resolution, from contact with the surface of the nanofiber to a few micrometers away. Comparison between experiments and Mie scattering theory allows us to precisely determine the emitter-nanofiber distance and experimental drifts.