The IR1 beamline is an endstation dedicated to infrared nanospectroscopy (nano-FTIR) in the range of mid-IR. Its main purpose is the analysis of chemical-optical properties of condensed matter in the nanoscale. In similar fashion to established infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), the nano-FTIR allows for identification and characterization of a chemical compound by means of its vibrational response, however, with nanoscale spatial resolution. Moreover, nano-FTIR is a technique based on near-field optics and, therefore, can be applied to the optical analysis in the sub-diffractional regime of plasmonic and photonic materials.
To overcome the diffraction limit of light, this experimental endstation uses the broadband synchrotron IR beam extracted from the LNLS storage ring as the light source for the experiment Scattering Near-Field Optical Microscopy (s-SNOM). In this experiment a metal coated atomic force microscopy (AFM) tip acts as an antenna for the light confinement at the its apex, creating a new source that no longer depends on the incident light wavelength but it is defined by the shape of the AFM probe, allowing for a spatial resolution of c.a. 25 nm.
The specifications of IR1 beamline of LNLS allows for multidisciplinary studies in Physics, Chemistry and Biology, in particular those studies in which the local chemical information is the central point in the research.
Potential applications are: Opto-electronics and vibrational properties of 2D materials, chemical analysis of sub-micron molecular domains in polymer blends, nano-drugs delivery, single cell chemistry, vibrational analysis of archeological micro-artefacts, new nanostructured materials for energy harvesting and conversion.