The recent progress in laser processing reaches a level where a precise fabrication that overcomes the diffraction limit of the far-field optics can be achieved. Laser processing mediated by enhanced near field is one of the attractive methods to provide highly precise structuring with a simple apparatus. In this review, we describe the fundamentals of the electromagnetic near field in the vicinity of small structures and the application of its specific properties for nanomodification. Theoretical and experimental results on nanoablation based on electromagnetic field enhancement due to plasmon polariton excitation and Mie scattering are discussed. High-throughput nanohole fabrication mediated by arrayed nanospheres is discussed, as the coupling effect of near field is also considered. In addition, recent fabrication techniques and their potential applications in nanopatterning, nanoscale deformation, and biophotonics are discussed.
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