Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Chemical Imaging of Heterogeneous Polymeric Materials With Near-Field IR Microscopy



Chris A. Michaels, D B. Chase, Stephan J. Stranick


The development of techniques to probe spatial variations in chemical composition on the nanoscale continues to be an important area of research in the characterization of polymeric materials. Recent efforts have focused on the development and characterization of near-field microscopy in the mid-infrared spectral region. This technique involves coupling the high spatial resolution of near-field scanning optical microscopy with the chemical specificity of infrared absorption spectroscopy. This chapter describes the application of this technique to the chemical imaging of a polymer composite consisting of polystyrene particles dispersed in a poly (methyl methacrylate) thin film. Particular focus is placed on utilizing the measured spectral contrast to identify the nature and magnitude of the various sources of image contrast, including near-field coupling, topography induced optical contrast, scattering, and absorbance.
ACS Symposium Series


chemical imaging, IR microscopy, near-field optics, NSOM, polymer characterization, scanned probe microscopy, vibrational spectroscopy


Michaels, C. , Chase, D. and Stranick, S. (2005), Chemical Imaging of Heterogeneous Polymeric Materials With Near-Field IR Microscopy, ACS Symposium Series (Accessed July 14, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created April 1, 2005, Updated February 19, 2017