Exploiting infrared light-matter interactions to explore complex systems at the nanoscale

L. Tetard
University of Central Florida,
United States

Keywords: multifrequency AFM, AFM-IR


Functional nanoscale analysis tools enable a deeper fundamental understanding of heterogeneous and dynamic systems below 100 nm. More specifically, developments using atomic force microscopy (AFM) make it possible to probe physical and chemical properties non-destructively. Multi-frequency AFM allows more sensitive detection and a wider frequency span to explore the complementary properties of the sample’s surface and subsurface. In this talk, we will introduce the general concept of multi-frequency AFM operation for to map structure of the sample’s subsurface. We will first discuss how the nonlinear nature of the tip-sample interaction in AFM can be used to synthesize the imaging modes sensitive to subsurface features. Next, we will describe the implementation of multi-frequency AFM for chemical nanoscale imaging and nanoscale infrared spectroscopy. We will consider the effect of the volume probed on the signals captured on selected model systems. Based on these results, we will present a few selected applications that have benefited from these multi-frequency functional AFM. We will conclude with a perspective on how light-matter interactions can be further controlled at the nanoscale to broaden the realm of applications.