Featured applications notes and briefs

Polymeric films, monolayers and blends

Applications note: Achieve a deeper understanding of polymeric systems

  • Nanoscale characterization of a range of polymeric materials and structures, including reverse engineering, monolayers, and more

Applications brief : AFM-IR: Technology and applications in nanoscale infrared spectroscopy and chemical imaging

  • AFM-IR provides direct correlation to FTIR techniques enabling nanoscale FTIR
  • AFM-IR provides 10nm spatial resolution for chemical imaging of a wide range of materials

Applications brief: Surface adhesion of superoleophic polymer-nanoparticle composite surfaces

  • AFM-IR is used to create re-entrant geometries desirable for superoleophobicity via entrapment of nanoparticles in polycarbonate surfaces.


Applications brief: Radiation-induced reduction-polymerization route synthesis of PEDOT conducting polymers

  • Reduction–polymerization route developed for synthesizing conducting polymers
  • Hydrated electrons used to reduce EDOT monomers into PEDOT polymers

lipid substrate

Applications brief: Nanostructured lipid-based films for substrate-mediated applications in biotechnology

  • Photothermal Induced Resonance IR Spectroscopy was used to analyze self-assembled lipid structures when introduced to drug samples


Applications brief: AFM-IR spectroscopy and imaging of polymers, fibers and thin films at the nanoscale

  • AFM-IR captures the correlation between structure, processing, and chain orientation/crystallinity in electrospun nanofibers and thin films
  • Determines how different processing protocols can alter the concentration of the stable alpha and metastable beta crystalline forms


Applications brief: Chloroform induces outstanding crystallization of poly(hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) vesicles within bacteria

  • AFM-IR is used to determine the crystallinity degrees of PHB in various environments
  • Using nanoscale IR spectroscopy, it was determined that PHB crystallized extremely well when exposed to chloroform


Applications brief: Analysis of nanodomain composition in high-impact polypropylene by atomic force microscopy-infrared

  • Breakthrough AFM-IR technique provides quantification of chemical concentrations of polymer nanodomains

2D materials and nano-photonics


Applications note: Visualizing optical phenomena of 2D materials using s-SNOM

  • The nanoIR2-s provides phase and amplitude imaging across a multitude of samples, including nanoantennae, phonon polaritons and more
  • s-SNOM is able to access optical and chemical properties of 2D materials and metasurfaces with <10nm spatial resolution
  • The nanoIR2-s provides the ability to create unique new data sets by combining AFM-IR and s-SNOM techniques


Applications note: Analyzing chemical variability of organic photovoltaic materials

  • The nanoIR system provides nanoscale IR spectra of photovoltaic materials, and correlates to conventional IR spectral databases
  • AFM-IR is able to detect phase separation in organic photovoltaic materials by correlating local chemical analysis with topographical information
  • The relative material stiffness within a defected region of a material can be mapped and analyzed via IR chemical contrast imaging

Applications brief: Direct observation of oxygen configuration on individual graphene oxide sheets

  • AFM-IR was used to map oxygen bonding on graphene oxide sheets
  • Oxygen bonding was observed most often on the edges of graphene oxide sheets, in areas where graphene is folded, and in discrete domains
  • An updated structural model for graphene oxide was proposed, with C=O on its edge and plane
  • Determining atomic position and configuration from precise imaging offers the possibility to link nanoscale structure and composition with material function

Applications brief: Chloride incorporation process in CH3NH3PbI3-xClx perovskites via nanoscale bandgap maps

  • CH3NH3PbI3-xClx perovskites enable the creation of highly efficient solar cells
  • PTIR was used in this study to measure the bandgap of CH3NH3PbI3-xClx films and determine local chloride content
  • Despite small chloride content, CH3NH3PbI3-xClx films showed better stability than CH3NH3PbI3Clx films fabricated by the same method


Applications brief: CH3NH3PbI3 perovskites: Ferroelasticity revealed

  • AFM-IR was used to find evidence of ferroelasticity in CH3NH3PbI3 polycrystalline films and crystals
  • No evidence of conomitant ferroelectricity was observed
  • The configuration of ferroelastic domains can be controlled with applied stress


Applications brief: Experimental demonstration of the microscopic origin of circular dichroism in two-dimensional metamaterials

  • AFM-IR and s-SNOM have been used in combination to probe the role of chirality in the circular dichroism observed in nanoscale 2D metasurfaces
  • By accessing both the radiative (s-SNOM) and non-radiative (AFM-IR) information on plasmonics structures, unique and complementary plasmonic properties can be obtained
  • For the first time it has been conclusively established the circular dichroism observed in 2D metasurfaces is attributed to handedness dependent Ohmic heating


Applications brief: Tip-enhanced infrared nanospectroscopy via molecular expansion force detection

  • AFM-IR collects spectra of molecular monolayers and monolayer islands with high spatial resolution


Applications brief: Assessing chemical heterogeneity in mixed-ligand metal-organic frameworks with the PTIR technique

  • AFM-IR identifies complex Metal Organic Framework (MixMOF) micro-crystals at the nanoscale. Individual MixMOF micro-crystals are examined for the first time
  • Engineering anisotropic domains in MOF crystals with sub-micron linker concentration gradients

Applications brief: Touching is believing: Interrogating halide perovskite solar cells at the nanoscale via scanning probe microscopy

  • Halide perovskite solar cells are an exciting development in the next generation photovoltaic technologies
  • There is need for a method to investigate the local photovoltaic properties of halide perovskite solar cells that can be directly traced to their microstructures and device performance
  • AFM-IR has great potential to realize such promises at the nanoscale, and highlight some of the recent progresses and challenges along this line of investigation toward local probing of photocurrent, work function, ionic activities, polarization switching, and chemical degradation

Failure analysis and materials characterization


Applications note: Nanoscale IR spectroscopy of organic contaminants

  • AFM-IR uniquely and unambiguously identifies organic nano-contaminants on wafer, media and slider substrates
  • Simultaneous nanoscale chemical and property mapping information


Applications note: Characterization of advanced semiconductor films

  • Measurement of nano-contamination as defectivities for semiconductor and data storage companies
  • Nanoscale IR spectroscopy of semiconductors

Life sciences

Visualizing lipid content in stratum corneum using AFM-IR

Applications note: Visualizing lipid content in stratum corneum using AFM-IR

  • AFM-IR spectroscopy uniquely and unambiguously identifies the chemical composition of cells, tissues, and other biological matter


Applications brief: AFM-IR characterization of miscibility for pharmaceutical systems

  • Complementary and multi-modal techniques of AFM, AFM-IR, nanoTA and contact resonance measurements were used to evaluate the miscibility behavior of TPV with 3 polymers
  • Phase separation was observed with HPMC and PVPVA at drug loadings about 10%


Analysis of bone composition with nanoscale spatial resolution

  • AFM-IR delivers novel compositional analysis on bone variation at nanometer scale
  • Investigations done on a non-human primate osteon at nm spatial resolution


Applications brief: Nanoscale IR spectroscopy of protein lipid-containing membranes

  • AFM-IR used to examine lipoprotein multi-bilayers formed by lipid-protein membranes that contain a mixture of two chloroplast lipids


Applications brief: Localization of human hair structural lipids using nanoscale IR spectroscopy and imaging

  • AFM-IR is proven to be capable of producing IR spectra and absorption images at a sub-micrometer spatial resolution
  • Enables human hair to be spectroscopically characterized at levels not previously possible.


Applications brief: Nanoscale probing of electron-regulated structural transitions in silk proteins by near-field IR imaging and nano-spectroscopy

  • AFM-IR and s-SNOM have been used in combination to probe the protein secondary structure changes of silk proteins induced by electron beam exposure
  • Due to the direct correlation of AFM-IR with conventional infrared spectroscopy, protein secondary structure analysis can now be extended to the nanoscale


Applications brief: Structure and properties of polycaprolactone/chitosan nonwovens tailored by solvent systems

  • AFM-IR revealed the formation of chitosan salts in polycaprolactone/chitosan fibres in multiple solvent systems
  • This study compared the spinnability of biomedically important fibre blends in different solvents

Mechanical property mapping


Applications note: Lorentz Contact Resonance for viscoelastic measurements of polymer blends

  • Lorentz Contact Resonance (LCR) reliably compares viscoleastic properties with nanoscale spatial resolution
  • With no moving parts in the piezo drive system, LCR provides clean cantilever resonance spectra with no parasitic peaks

Nanothermal Analysis


Applications note: Correlation between nanoscale and bulk thermal analysis

  • nanoTA has excellent correlation with bulk DSC and TMA
  • nanoTA is able to provide accurate thermal analysis of localized areas on samples or on very small quantities of material