Nanoprinting, the integration of different nanometer-scale samples on the surface of a sample, becomes increasingly important for the construction of electronic devices, solar cells, and medical diagnostics. Considerable progress has been made concerning the manufacturing process, so that it is now possible to include composite materials on nanostructured surfaces. However, methods how to analyze the structure and the chemical composition of the surface have barely been developed.
William P. King and colleagues, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, USA and Anasys Instruments, Santa Barbara, USA, have used nanometer-scale infrared spectroscopy to study nanostructured heterogeneous polymer surfaces. They scanned the surface with atomic force microscopy (AFM) and used short infrared pulses generated by a tunable laser to measure the spatially resolved, wavelength-dependent infrared absorptivity of the sample. This gave them a highly resolved image of the structures and the chemical composition of the different nanopatterend polymers on the nanostructured surface. From their measurements, they concluded that chemical resolutions of 100 nm are possible also for chemically heterogeneous samples.
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