Quantitative Measurement of Local Infrared Absorption and Dielectric Function with Tip-Enhanced Near-Field Microscopy

J Phys Chem Lett. 2013 May 2;4(9):1526-31. doi: 10.1021/jz400453r. Epub 2013 Apr 18.


Scattering-type scanning near-field optical microscopy (s-SNOM) and Fourier transform infrared nanospectroscopy (nano-FTIR) are emerging tools for nanoscale chemical material identification. Here, we push s-SNOM and nano-FTIR one important step further by enabling them to quantitatively measure local dielectric constants and infrared absorption. Our technique is based on an analytical model, which allows for a simple inversion of the near-field scattering problem. It yields the dielectric permittivity and absorption of samples with 2 orders of magnitude improved spatial resolution compared to far-field measurements and is applicable to a large class of samples including polymers and biological matter. We verify the capabilities by determining the local dielectric permittivity of a PMMA film from nano-FTIR measurements, which is in excellent agreement with far-field ellipsometric data. We further obtain local infrared absorption spectra with unprecedented accuracy in peak position and shape, which is the key to quantitative chemometrics on the nanometer scale.

Keywords: chemical identification; ellipsometry; infrared nanospectroscopy; nano-FTIR; near-field scattering; s-SNOM; thin films.