Nanoscale IR Spectroscopy (AFM-IR): Achieving Molecular Understanding of Polymer Systems

Learn how AFM-IR is used to characterize local polymer chemistry at the nanoscale  

Understand Polymer Systems at the Molecular Level 

AFM-IR overcomes the diffraction limitations of conventional infrared spectroscopy by using an AFM tip to detect the local infrared absorption. In this webinar, Dr. Greg Meyer from Dow Chemical explains the value of this capability for understanding polymers at the nanoscale. He presents four wide-ranging examples where AFM-IR was an essential tool in characterizing polymer systems. 

Webinar Summary

This webinar discusses achieving molecular understanding of polymer systems using AFM-IR spectroscopy. AFM-IR is a technique that uses an atomic force microscope tip to detect the infrared absorption of a sample at the nanoscale.

The speaker, Greg Meyer from Dow Chemical, begins by discussing the limitations of conventional infrared spectroscopy due to diffraction. AFM-IR overcomes this by using an AFM tip to detect the local infrared absorption.

Dr. Meyer then presents several examples of using AFM-IR to characterize polymer materials, including:

  • An epoxy-polyether blend where AFM-IR revealed the phase separated morphology and epoxy-rich domains
  • A polyurethane chemical mechanical polishing pad where AFM-IR was used to map the urethane-rich domains
  • A multilayer agricultural film with AFM-IR characterization of the different polymer layers
  • A reverse osmosis membrane where AFM-IR could discern and probe the thin polyamide discriminating layer

In summary, AFM-IR provides chemical information about polymer systems at the nanoscale, revealing morphology, composition, and interfacial chemistry that cannot be accessed with conventional infrared spectroscopy. The technique works well for a wide range of polymer materials and applications.


Dr. Greg Meyers

Fellow, Core R&D - Analytical Science, The Dow Chemical Company, Midland, MI

Gregory F. Meyers, PhD, is a Fellow in Core R&D – Analytical Sciences at The Dow Chemical Company.  He has technical leadership for strategic planning within the Surface & Interface Characterization group.    His technical area of expertise is in scanning probe microscopy where he established Dow's global AFM capability.  Greg was a co-principal investigator along with Dr. Craig Prater (formerly of Veeco, Inc.) on a 3year, $13MM joint NIST ATP project to develop quantitative nanomechanical measurements based on an atomic force microscopy platform.  He has also participated in the development of Bruker (Anasys Instruments) NanoIR platform (2010 R&D 100 winner).  He is the author or co-author of 1 textbook, 4 book chapters, 59 publications, and 2 patents. Greg obtained a BA degree in chemistry from Bowdoin College in 1979 and a PhD degree in inorganic chemistry from Texas A&M University in 1985.