Hyperspectral infrared nanoimaging of organic samples based on Fourier transform infrared nanospectroscopy

I. Amenabar, S. Poly, M. Goikoetxea, W. Nuansing, P. Lasch, and R. Hillenbrand

Nature Communications 8, 14402 (2017)
Infrared nanospectroscopy enables novel possibilities for chemical and structural analysis of nanocomposites, biomaterials or optoelectronic devices. Here we introduce hyperspectral infrared nanoimaging based on Fourier transform infrared nanospectroscopy with a tunable bandwidth-limited laser continuum. We describe the technical implementations and present hyperspectral infrared near-field images of about 5,000 pixel, each one covering the spectral range from 1,000 to 1,900 cm−1. To verify the technique and to demonstrate its application potential, we imaged a three-component polymer blend and a melanin granule in a human hair cross-section, and demonstrate that multivariate data analysis can be applied for extracting spatially resolved chemical information. Particularly, we demonstrate that distribution and chemical interaction between the polymer components can be mapped with a spatial resolution of about 30 nm. We foresee wide application potential of hyperspectral infrared nanoimaging for valuable chemical materials characterization and quality control in various fields ranging from materials sciences to biomedicine.