Synchrotron Infrared Nano Spectroscopy (SINS) combines ultra-broadband IR radiation from synchrotron with the nanoscale spatial resolution of nano-FTIR spectroscopy developed and patented by neaspec. neaspec SINS enables ultra-broadband IR spectroscopy and hyperspectral imaging with nanoscale spatial resolution covering near-IR to far-IR regions in a single shot, providing a unique tool for synchrotron users.

Basic working principle:

  1. accurately focus synchrotron IR beam onto a sharp metallic AFM tip;
  2. illuminated tip creates a strong nano-focus at its apex;
  3. nano-focus acts as a ultra-small nanoscale “white light” source that probes sample’s spectral properties through near-field optical interaction;
  4. near-field interaction modifies the tip-scattering which is detected using asymmetric FTIR, delivering local ultra-broadband absorption and reflectivity spectra with spatial resolution determined only by the tip apex radius (typically 20 nm).


synchrotron probing principle

Challenge: Synchrotron radiation provides relatively low spectral power density (compared to tabletop laser sources). The tip scatters only a small portion of this power, therefore successful detection of near-field signal and its filtering from scattering background depends critically on the performance of the detection technology, quality of optical components and focusing expertise.

neaspec offers a combination of unique patented nano-FTIR detection technology optimized for synchrotron IR beamlines, patented aberration-free focusing elements, highest-quality components and the market leading expertise in near-field optics & light source integration. This is why neaspec’s nano-FTIR is the only nanoscale absorption spectroscopy technique successfully utilized at synchrotrons around the World.

SINS schematics

SINS is based on the nano-FTIR setup comprising an asymmetric interferometer where the AFM tip and the sample are located in one of the interferometer arms. Beam from synchrotron IR beamline is coupled to nano-FTIR and provides an ultra-broadband illumination source, that illuminates the AFM tip. Tip-scattered light is then recombined with the reference beam at the detector. The detector signal is recorded as a function of reference mirror position, creating an (asymmetric) interferogram. Fourier transformation of this interferogram returns local ultra-broadband amplitude and phase spectra. These spectra relate to the sample reflectivity and absorption, providing ultra-broadband spectroscopic sample analysis with nanoscale spatial resolution.

Compare different s-SNOM technologies and learn why neaspec is the market leader.


neaspec synchrotron IR nano spectroscopy provides:

  • tip-limited spatial resolution at the 20 nm scale brings synchrotron IR spectroscopy to the ultimate nanoscale level
    SINS spatial resolution
  • Covers far-IR spectral range which is not covered by lasers: nano-FTIR detection range is only limited by the detector bandwidth.mid-IR to far-IR bandwidth
  • Best-in-class sensitivity, detecting single monolayers and even individual macromolecules
    single molecule sensitivity
  • Spectrally averaged imaging for rapid screening of the area of interest and subsequent chemical identification identification of sample components.spectral average imaging
  • 2 techniques in 1: simultaneously measures absorption & reflectivity at each pixel for complete characterization of sample’s optical properties with 10 nm spatial resolution

absorption and reflectivity at each pixel

  • Hyperspectral nanoimaging for ultimate nanoscale chemometric analysis
    hyperspectral + multivariate analysis
  • Access to the dielectric function at the nanoscale, i.e. refractive index and attenuation coefficient
  • spectra directly comparable to standard FTIR references for nanoscale chemical identification

nano-FTIR matches standard FTIR references

neaspec SINS Advantages & Strengths



neaSNOM automatically organizes & stores data according to user, project, area of interest, etc. for easy access by multiple users

amplitude- and phase-resolved spectroscopy

Designed for Broadband

The only technology for nanoscale amplitude- and phase-resolved spectroscopy with broadband sources

Proven Technology


Optimized for and successfully used at synchrotron facilities worldwide

expert support

Expert Support

neaspec is a pioneer and world-leading expert in near-field optics, delivering seamless integration, reliable operation and quality support


Provides access to refractive index and absorption coefficient for ultimate chemometric analysis

Highest Versatility

Works for all materials – absorbing or not – and in all spectral ranges (from visible to sub-THz)

Subsurface analysis


Capable of spectroscopic surface and subsurface analysis

Purely Optical

Direct optical measurements independent from mechanical properties and artifacts

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