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VISTA-IR PiFM - AFM Photo Induced Force Microscope
Infrared PiFM (IR PiFM) couples a widely tunable mid-IR laser with VistaScope. PiFM signal is strongly affected by the optical absorption spectrum of the sample, thereby providing a significant spectral contrast mechanism which can be used to differentiate between chemical species. The figures below shows 500 nm x 500 nm PiFM images at two wavelengths (one at 1492 cm-1 corresponding to the absorption band for polystyrene (PS) and another at 1733 cm-1 corresponding to the absorption band for polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA)) along with topography of PS-b-PMMA block copolymer (BCP) with a full pitch of 42 nm.
The PiFM images selectively display the polymeric species based on their absorption wavelengths with spatial resolution that is ~ 1000x smaller than the wavelengths, resolution not obtainable with any other techniques. Note that the topographical features mainly track the PMMA domain; some of the tall defects in topography show up as correlating defects in the PS image whereas they are not as obvious in PMMA image. In addition to high resolution spectral imaging, absorption spectra that correlate well with bulk FTIR spectra can be acquired from nano-spots in second(s) without damaging the samples.
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