To realize higher resolution in optical inspection systems is typically using shorter wavelengths including UV light and a higher NA of the objective lens. Extreme performances of illumination and imaging systems in well-matched situations are inevitable with further effort put on the development of an effective optical system for inspecting microscopic defects on patterned wafers.
For this study, we focus on the dark-field illumination system for index-matched near-field microscope using an aplanatic solid immersion lens (A-SIL). We present dark-field illumination that has illumination channels on the side of the A-SIL to overcome the issue of deficient space. The table-top experiments are conducted to show a feasibility of a dark-field imaging method for the near-field condition before verifying the performance of the optical system.