We propose a novel method for observing and utilizing nanometrically fluctuating signals due to optical near-field interactions between a probe and target in nearfield optical microscopy. Based on a hierarchical structure of the interactions, it is possible to obtain signals that represent two-dimensional spatial patterns without requiring any scanning process. Such signals reveal individual features of each target, and these features, when appropriately extracted and defined, can be used in security applications-an approach that we call nanophotonic security. As an experimental demonstration, output signals due to interactions between a SiO2 probe and Al nanorods were observed by using near-field optical microscopy at a single readout point, and these signals were quantitatively evaluated using an algorithm that we developed for extracting and defining features that can be used for security applications.
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