Nanoscale Chemical Spectroscopy with the Atomic Force Microscope

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The ability to unambiguously identify arbitrary material under the tip of an AFM has been identified as one of the “Holy Grails” of probe microscopy. While the AFM has the ability to measure mechanical, electrical, magnetic and thermal properties of materials, the technique has lacked the robust ability to characterize and identify unknown materials. Infrared spectroscopy is a benchmark technique routinely used in a broad range of sciences to characterize and identify materials on the basis of specific vibrational resonances of chemical bonds. We have successfully integrated the capabilities of AFM with IR spectroscopy to allow chemical characterization on the micro and nanoscale. This technique enables the ability to obtain a high quality IR spectrum at an arbitrary point in an AFM image and/or automatically map the spectra at an array of points on a sample to enable chemical mapping. In this presentation, we will share the details of the measurement technique, along with application examples on polymer thin films, multilayers and blends, along with measurements on plant cells and bacteria.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 1, Nanotechnology 2010: Advanced Materials, CNTs, Particles, Films and Composites
Published: June 21, 2010
Pages: 5 - 8
Industry sector: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing
Topic: Materials Characterization & Imaging
ISBN: 978-1-4398-3401-5