NanoIR Featured Publications

Infrared Vibrational Nanocrystallography and Nanoimaging

July, 2016

Eric A. Muller, Benjamin Pollard, Hans A. Bechtel, Peter van Blerkom, Markus B. Raschke


Molecular solids and polymers can form low-symmetry crystal structures that exhibit anisotropic electron and ion mobility in engineered devices or biological systems. The distribution of molecular orientation and disorder then controls the macroscopic material response. We demonstrated a new form of optical nanocrystallography that combines scattering-type scanning near-field optical microscopy with both optical antenna and tip-selective infrared vibrational spectroscopy. From the symmetry-selective probing of molecular bond orientation we determined crystalline phases and orientation in aggregates and films of perylenetetracarboxylic dianhydride. Mapping disorder within and between individual nanoscale domains, the correlative hybrid imaging of nanoscale heterogeneity provides insight into defect formation and propagation during growth in functional molecular solids.