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April 29th, 2010
Chemical analysis breakthrough: AFM-IR nanospectroscopy
For many years, infrared spectroscopy has provided the ability to characterize and identify chemical species. However, it has always been restricted to spatial resolution in the order of 5 - 10 microns and then only when applying attenuated total reflection spectroscopy. Now, when combined with the nanoscale spatial resolution of an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) tip, it is possible to measure and map local chemical composition below the diffraction limit of light. The technology described here as nanoIR will also perform nanoscale topographic, mechanical and thermal analyses.
This exciting and unique technology is provided through a new platform called nanoIR, a new product from Anasys Instruments, Santa Barbara, Calif. The nanoIR is a probe-based measurement tool that reveals the chemical composition of samples at the nanoscale (Figure 1). This laboratory solution combines key elements of both infrared spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy (AFM) to enable the acquisition of infrared spectra at spatial resolutions of 50 - 200 nm, well beyond the optical diffraction limit. Potential application areas span polymer science, materials science, and life science, including detailed studies of structure-property correlations.
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