The finite-difference time-domain method was employed to simulate light propagation in tapered near-field fibre probes with small metal aperture. By conducting large-volume simulations, including tapered metal-cladding waveguide and connected optical fibre waveguide, we illustrated the coupling between these guiding modes as well as the electric field distribution in the vicinity of the aperture. The high collection efficiency of a double-tapered probe was reproduced and was ascribed to the shortening of the cut-off region and the efficient coupling to the guiding mode of the optical fibre. The dependence of the efficiency on the tapered structure parameters was also examined.
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