Science Advances

Nanoscale chemical imaging by photoinduced force microscopy

View publication


Correlating spatial chemical information with the morphology of closely packed nanostructures remains a challenge for the scientific community. For example, supramolecular self-assembly, which provides a powerful and low-costway to create nanoscale patterns and engineered nanostructures, is not easily interrogated in real space via existing nondestructive techniques based on optics or electrons. A novel scanning probe technique called infrared photoinduced force microscopy (IR PiFM) directly measures the photoinduced polarizability of the sample in the near field by detecting the time-integrated force between the tip and the sample. By imaging atmultiple IRwavelengths corresponding to absorption peaks of different chemical species, PiFM has demonstrated the ability to spatially map nm-scale patterns of the individual chemical components of two different types of self-assembled block copolymer films. With chemical-specific nanometerscale imaging, PiFM provides a powerful new analytical method for deepening our understanding of nanomaterials.