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We present a method for imaging the optical near-fields of nanostructures, which is based on the local ablation of a smooth silicon substrate by means of a single, femtosecond laser pulse. At those locations, where the field enhancement due to a nanostructure is large, substrate material is removed. The resulting topography, imaged by scanning electron or atomic force microscopy, thus reflects the intensity distribution caused by the nanostructure at the substrate surface. With this method onedoi:10.1063/1.1819990 fatcat:wspfjwyw7vhbnijq3oqgodhzxm