We developed an advanced near-field optical method by combining an ultrafast near-field optical microscope with a prism-based pulse shaping system. We used this apparatus to visualize plasmonic optical fields and to measure the lifetime of plasmons excited on a rough gold film. We also studied the influence of the phase-modulation of the excitation pulse on the spatial distribution of the optical fields. We found that the spatial distribution of the optical fields can be controlled by a negatively chirped pulse.
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