New Breakthrough Nanoscale IR Spectroscopy Technique for Quantification of Chemical Concentrations of Polymer Nanodomains

(a) AFM height image and (b) AFM-IR map of the methyl symmetric C−H bending at 1378 cm−1. (c) AFM-IR spectra taken at the locations marked in (a) and (b), normalized to the 1378cm−1 band, indicative of different ethylene contents as shown by the intensity of the 1456cm−1 band.

Santa Barbara, California – May 26th, 2016 – Anasys Instruments, the world leader in nanoscale IR spectroscopy, reports on a new breakthrough technique for AFM-IR developed by researchers at Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, China, that for the first time provides quantification of chemical concentrations of polymer nanodomains with direct correlation to conventional FTIR.

This new technique, specifically developed for AFM-IR, establishes a quantitative analysis method which analyzes polyethylene content in nanoscopic domains of rubber particles dispersed within a polypropylene matrix. This new quantitative AFM-IR method will offer a practical method for assessing compositions of nanoscale domains in complex polymeric materials.

Professor Su Zhaohui of the State Key Laboratory of Polymer Physics and Chemistry stated “Using AFM-IR on our nanoIR is powerful tool for studying complex polymeric materials. It provided us rich spectroscopic information with unprecedented spatial resolution, which was vital to the success of this project.”

Anasys CTO Dr. Craig Prater expressed his excitement from this publication, stating, “Previous work by Andrea Centrone’s group at NIST had laid an important foundation demonstrating the high degree of linearity of the AFM-IR peak intensities vs. the thickness of an absorbing region, and predicted that this would enable an AFM-IR approach to quantification, a key application of bulk IR spectroscopy. Now the group at CIAC and collaborators at ExxonMobil have experimentally demonstrated the ability to quantify chemical concentration of nanoscale regions of materials using AFM-IR along with calibration methods based on bulk FTIR spectroscopy. The current work demonstrates the ability to extend the power of IR absorption based quantification to the nanoscale.”

The technique and results are published in full in Analytical Chemistry, and was a joint paper with State Key Laboratory of Polymer Physics and Chemistry, Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, and ExxonMobil Asia Pacific R&D., Ltd., China.

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Anasys Instruments and our scientific collaborators pioneered the field of nanoscale infrared absorption spectroscopy and imaging. Our team is focused on providing robust chemical analysis with nanometer scale spatial resolution. With a researcher’s productivity always in mind, we deliver integrated hardware and software solutions that clear the path to your next discovery. Nanoscale IR spectroscopy complemented with thermal and mechanical analysis add a special dimension to AFM imaging.