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Posted: Oct 10, 2012
Improving nanometer-scale manufacturing with infrared spectroscopy
(Nanowerk News) One of the key achievements of the nanotechnology era is the development of manufacturing technologies that can fabricate nanostructures formed from multiple materials. Such nanometer-scale integration of composite materials has enabled innovations in electronic devices, solar cells, and medical diagnostics.
Atomic force microscope spectroscopy (AFM-IR) is a nanotechnology-based materials identification technique.
“We have used atomic force microscope based infrared spectroscopy (AFM-IR) to characterize polymer nanostructures and systems of integrated polymer nanostructures,” said William King, the College of Engineering Bliss Professor in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering at Illinois. “In this research, we have been able to chemically analyze polymer lines as small as 100 nm. We can also clearly distinguish different nanopatterned polymers using their infrared absorption spectra as obtained by the AFM-IR technique.”
Atomic Force Microscope Infrared Spectroscopy (AFM-IR) is a nanotechnology-based materials identification technique.
In AFM-IR, a rapidly pulsed infrared (IR) laser is directed on upon a thin sample which absorbs the IR light and undergoes rapid thermomechanical expansion. An AFM tip in contact with the polymer nanostructure resonates in response to the expansion, and this resonance is measured by the AFM.
“While nanotechnologists have long been interested in the manufacturing of integrated nanostructures, they have been limited by the lack of tools that can identify material composition at the nanometer scale.” said Craig Prater, co-author on the study and Chief Technology Officer of Anasys Instruments Inc. “The AFM-IR technique offers the unique capability to simultaneously map the nanoscale morphology and perform chemical analysis at the nanoscale.”