Image Number 15 for United States Patent #5982409.
An optical probe element for focusing light from a light source into micro light of a diameter not larger than the diffraction limit, includes a light transmitting flat substrate and an optical probe formed on one of the surfaces of the flat substrate. The optical probe has a substantially conical light transmitting projection, and a reflective film which covers the conical surface of the projection so that the tip of the projection is exposed. The optical probe element enables the optical probe to be formed on the flat substrate using a semiconductor processing technique, thereby achieving efficient mass production of a standardized optical probe element. Thus, a recording and reproduction apparatus using the optical probe element is efficiently mass-produced.