neaspec designs, manufactures and distributes advanced nanoscale optical imaging & spectroscopy microscopes.

The company was founded to revolutionize nanoscale analytics, with the ultimate goal to enable technological & scientific progress in every lab around the world.


neaspec has gained worldwide attention in the scientific community for inventing a series of breakthrough technologies in nanoscale analytics. Founded in 2007 by the world’s leading experts of near-field microscopy as a spin-off from the the Max-Planck-Institute of Biochemistry, neaspec’s engineers have developed the neaSNOM microscope, an easy-to-use optical near-field microscope platform using ground-breaking and patented optical background-filtering techniques.

neaSNOM combines the best of two worlds – the nanoscale resolution of atomic force microscopy (AFM) with the analytical power of visible, infrared and even THz imaging & spectroscopy. At a spatial resolution of only 10nm, the method only requires standard AFM sample preparation and is non-destructive. This opens a new era for modern nano-analytical applications such as chemical nano-identification (IR), nano-plasmonic field mapping (VIS & IR) or free charge carrier nano-mapping (THz).


First product launch in 2009:

  • neaspec launches the 1st generation of the neaSNOM microscope based ground-breaking background-filtering techniques
  • detection module optimized for single-line lasers is launched allowing visible, infrared and even THz imaging with single-line lasers at 20nm spatial resolution

Innovations in 2010:

  • The 2nd generation of the neaSNOM microscope is launched offering even better reliability & usability
  • The introduction of tunable single line IR-lasers based on QCLs allows imaging at different wavelength in the infrared fingerprint region at 20nm spatial resolution using the standard detection module
  • A new detection module optimized for broadband lasers is launched to allow Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) at 20nm spatial resolution. At this time, broadband IR-lasers are commercially not yet available, but experimental broadband IR-lasers proof that the technology works perfect and that it has a huge application potential across many disciplines
  • A transmissive illumination module for imaging is launched to analyse transparent samples in reflectivity-mode

Innovations in 2011:

  • A new transmissive detection module for imaging is launched to analyse transparent samples in transmissive-mode
  • neaspec demonstrates that the spectroscopy detection module can be operated with a simple thermal light-source at 100nm spatial resolution. The first ultra-broad infrared spectra at the nanoscale are recorded for the first time and published in Nature Materials
  • The spatial resolution of the neaSNOM microscope is increased from 20nm to only 10nm to analyse even smaller structures

Innovations in 2012:

  • For the first time, neaspec researchers observe plasmons on Graphene in real-space with the help of the neaSNOM imaging technology. The scientific work is published in Nature and is one of the most cited articles worldwide for Graphene today
  • neaspec introduces nano-FTIR and demonstrates that the neaSNOM microscope and its spectroscopy detection module can be used with a custom developed prototype broadband IR-laser to perform IR-spectroscopy at 20nm spatial resolution

Innovations in 2013:

  • In collaboration with the Physikalisch Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), neaspec demonstrates that the neaSNOM microscope can even be coupled to infrared synchrotron light-sources to perform nano-FTIR spectroscopy with nanoscale spatial resolution
  • neaspec researchers show that nano-FTIR is able to analyse and map the structure of individual protein complexes. This shows the high application potential of nano-FTIR in life-sciences. The scientific work is published in Nature Communications
  • neaspec wins two highly regarded awards for nano-FTIR: The Microscopy Today Innovation Award 2013 and the Step Award 2013 for best new product and technology

Innovations in 2014:

  • neaspec developes together with a commercial laser manufacturer a fully-automated broadband IR-laser and introduces nano-FTIR in a complete, ready-to-use package of near-field microscope and broadband IR-laser. This opens a new era in modern analytical chemistry for every nano-analytical lab around the globe
  • neaspec introduces the modular housing design, which combines great flexibility with plug-and-play usability. It allows to upgrade the neaSNOM microscope with imaging & spectroscopy modes along with several illumination units ranging from VIS, NIR, MIR and even THz
  • neaspec patents and introduces high-speed optical holography (HOH) imaging mode. This new near-field imaging mode is the fastest available on the market while simultaneously delivering one order of magnitude better S/N image quality – A new dimension in superfast high-quality imaging
  • Researchers design ultra-sharp AFM-tips and show that the spatial resolution can be improved to only 3nm – a new world record
  • Researchers show that nano-FTIR can even be applied for ultrafast nano-spectroscopy to study processes with sub-cycle temporal resolution. The scientific work was published in nature photonics

Innovations in 2015:

    • neaspec develops and introduces Ultrafast nano-FTIR, the commercial version of ultrafast nano-spectroscopy. Ultrafast nano-FTIR is a ready-to-use upgrade for nano-FTIR to enable pump-probe nano-spectroscopy at best-in-class spatial resolution
    • neaspec develops together with a commercial laser manufacturer THz-neaSNOM, a ready-to-use setup that combines THz-TDS with the neaSNOM microscope

Innovations in 2016:

  • neaspec announces cryo-neaSNOM – the first system of it’s kind to enable and revolutionize near-field imaging & spectroscopy at cryogenic temperatures <10 Kelvin
  • neaspec improves the quality and measurement speed of nano-FTIR imaging & spectroscopy by more than an order of magnitude, setting the bar even higher as the fastest nanoscale near-field microscope with the highest imaging & spectroscopy quality on the market.

Innovations in 2017:

  • neaspec announces as the first commercial manufacturer the integration of TERS in the neaSNOM microscope platform. This enables and revolutionizes correlative nanoscopy by offering two complementary optical imaging & spectroscopy methods at the nanoscale.

neaspec is rapidly expanding globally and serves leading researchers and scientists in highly-regarded research labs around the globe. The unique expertise of our engineers guarantees not only the top performance of our microscope-systems, but also a professional service including on-site training and personalized customer support.

We will continue to deliver ground-breaking innovations for nanoscale optical imaging & spectroscopy to serve customer needs around the world.