Application Brief: Nanoscale Resolution in Infrared Imaging of Protein-Containing Lipid Membranes

September 12, 2016

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Key Points

  • Thin films with vanishing real part of the dielectric function (Re[ε ] = 0) in the midinfrared region are promising photonic materials for manipulating and enhancing IR light–matter interactions at the nanoscale
  • Two fundamental polaritonic phenomena near Re[ε ] = 0 were characterized by AFM-IR
  • Far-field applicability of polaritonic AFM-IR studies was demonstrated through the characterization of a nanoscale plasmonic ENZ grating on Si with 2 nm native SiO2 using polarization-dependent IR microscopy


Authors

T. Shaykhutdinov A. Furchner, J. Rappich, K. Hinrichs


Abstract

Thin films with vanishing real part of the dielectric function (Re[ε ] = 0) in the midinfrared (MIR) region are promising photonic materials for manipulating and enhancing IR light–matter interactions at the nanoscale. We present a nanospectroscopic characterization of two fundamental polaritonic phenomena near Re[ε ] = 0 by atomic force microscope infrared spectroscopy (AFM-IR): the Berreman mode (BE) in 100 nm SiO2 and Si3 N4 films on Si, and epsilon-near-zero (ENZ) local field confinement in a 2 nm native SiO2 layer on Si. AFM-IR is an emerging photothermal technique that provides direct information on nanoscale IR absorption, allowing unambiguous identification of BE and ENZ effects supported by simulations. We demonstrate far-field applicability of polaritonic AFM-IR studies by characterizing a nanoscale plasmonic ENZ grating on Si with 2 nm native SiO2 using polarization-dependent IR microscopy.

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