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: Water-induced phase separation of miconazole-poly (vinylpyrrolidone-co-vinyl acetate) amorphous solid dispersions: Insights with confocal fluorescence microscopy

  • Researchers from Purdue University used AFM-IR to analyze miconazole:PVPVA miscibility under different conditions at stages of its production
  • This study offers a useful approach to evaluate drug-polymer homogeneity, and will help to determine useful production methods


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: Nanoscale chemical imaging of a deuterium-labeled polyolefin copolymer in a polyolefin blend by atomic force microscopy-infrared spectroscopy

  • AFM-IR spectra and images of the C-D stretch in the polyolefin blend definitively establish that the deuterium-labeled EP copolymer is dispersed in the polyethylene matrix
  • This strategy is broadly applicable to other types of polymer blends that contain chemically-similar components


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


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

Applications brief: Hybrid joining of polyamide and hydrogenated acrylonitrile butadiene rubber through heat-resistant functional layer of silane coupling agent

  • nanoIR spectroscopy was used to characterize the surfaces and interfaces of adhesive strength between a modified PA6 and HNBR
  • This study has potential benefits for the manufacturing and reliability of fuel hose composite materials in automotive and aeronautical industries

Applications brief: Polypeptide-assisted organization of pi-conjugated polymers into responsive, soft 3D networks

  • Nanoscale IR spectroscopy confirmed that alpha-helical secondary formation of PBLG was unaffected by the presence of pi-conjugated polymer chains
  • PBLG self-assembly thermoreversible gels with long-range ordered structures provides a foundation for the design of biocompatible materials

Applications brief: Preparation of paclitaxel/chitosan co-assembled core-shell nanofibers for drug-eluting stent

  • nanoIR spectroscopy was used to characterize the core and shell of PTX/CS co-assembled nanofibers
  • This study has benefits in medical devices in animals, as the nanofibers are observed to inhibit platelet adhesion

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

  • 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: 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


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: Energy dissipation in monolyaer MoS2 electronics

  • Scanning thermal microscopy (SThM) reveals insights into energy dissipation of 2D semiconductors for future design of energy-efficient 2D electronics
  • High spatial and temperature resolution confirms MoS2 regions do not act as hot spots but rather shows uniform temperature rise with cooling on the edges

Semiconductor failure analysis


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


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

eoarchean life

Applications brief: Elements of Eoarchean life trapped in mineral inclusions

  • Researchers use nanoscale IR spectroscopy to identify, for the first time, remains of elements of life bound to carbonaceous material in 3.7 billion year old metasedimentary rocks
  • The findings of Eoarchean organic residue preservation supports claims for biogenic origins of carbon in Isua metasediments


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%


Applications brief: 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: 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


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

human lens

Applications brief: Differentiation of protein secondary structure in clear and opaque human lenses: AFM-IR studies

  • nanoIR was used to study secondary structure changes associated with cataract development
  • The protein secondary changes from a β–turn/β–sheet parallel to an anti-parallel β–sheet as the lens is degraded

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