Phase controlled homodyne infrared near-field microscopy and spectroscopy reveal inhomogeneity within and among individual boron nitride nanotubes

J Phys Chem A. 2013 Apr 25;117(16):3348-54. doi: 10.1021/jp4008784. Epub 2013 Mar 25.


We propose a practical method to obtain near-field infrared absorption spectra in apertureless near-field scanning optical microscopy (aNSOM) through homodyne detection with a specific choice of reference phase. The underlying mechanism of the method is illustrated by theoretical and numeric models to show its ability to obtain absorptive rather than dispersive profiles in near-field infrared vibrational microscopy. The proposed near-field nanospectroscopic method is applied to obtain infrared spectra from regions of individual multiwall boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs) in spatial regions smaller than the diffraction limit of the light source. The spectra suggest variations in interwall spacing within the individual tubes probed.