Revealing the nanoscale secrets through spectroscopic imaging                                         

figure_1_website          Domains of a block copolymer revealed with 10 nm spatial resolution by the PFIR microscopy.

Microscopy opens many possibilities for understanding the composition, organization, and interaction of inhomogeneous materials. In our group, we develop spectroscopic microscopy techniques to study functional nano-materials in order to decipher their optical, electric, and chemical properties.

One challenge of optical microscopy is the diffraction limit of light, which is approximately half of light’s wavelength. Nano-materials often have features smaller than the half wavelength that is not resolvable by traditional optical microscopy. To overcome this challenge, we use scattering-type scanning near-field optical microscopy and photothermal microscopy, combined with atomic force microscopy.

We develop novel nanoscale analytical methods based on
scanning probe microscopy and lasers. The recent development of peak force infrared microscopy by our group allows us to simultaneously map sample surface with topography, infrared absorption, and mechanical properties at < 10 nm spatial resolution, the characteristic scale of many nanostructures, such as block copolymers.