We present a particular approach and the associated results allowing the nanostructuration of a thin photosensitive polymer film. This approach based on a scanning near–field optical microscopy configuration uses the field–enhancement (FE) effect, a so–called lightning–rod effect appearing at the extremity of a metallic tip when illuminated with an incident light polarized along the tip axis. The local enhancement of the electromagnetic field straight below the tip'sapex is observed directly through a photoisomerization reaction, inducing the growth of a topographical nanodot characterized in situ by atomic–force microscopy using the same probe. From a survey of the literature, we first review the different experimental approaches offered to nanostructure materials by near–field optical techniques. We describe more particularly the FE effect approach. An overview of the theoretical approach of this effect is then given before presenting some experimental results so as theoretical results using the finite–element method. These results show the influence on the nanostructuration of the polymer of a few experimental parameters such as the polarization state, the illumination mode and the tip'sgeometry. Finally, the potentiality of this technique for some applications in the field of lithography and high–density data storage is shown via the fabrication of nano–patterns.