Seeing is believing: revealing nanoscale secrets through spectroscopic imaging  


figure_1_website          Domains of a block copolymer revealed with 10 nm spatial resolution by 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 macromolecules, heterogeneous materials, and nanostructures in order to decipher their chemical, electric, and mechanical properties.

One challenge of optical microscopy is the diffraction limit of light, which is approximately half of the wavelength of light. Nano-materials often have features smaller than the half wavelength that is not resolvable by traditional optical microscopy. To overcome this challenge, we work on two types of super-resolution infrared microscopies that combines atomic force microscopy with infrared lasers:

1.  Peak force infrared (PFIR) microscopy and multipulse PFIR microscopy.

2. Scattering-type scanning near-field optical microscopy (s-SNOM More specifically, Peak force scattering-type near-field optical microscopy (PF-SNOM) that can collect 3D near-field response cube.

We are interested in studying materials that may be nanoscale heterogeneous, such as block copolymers, polymer blends,  protein aggregates, polaritonic nanostructures, oil shaleurban aerosols, and photovoltaic materials.