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Polymeric Films, Monolayers and Blends

Bruker's Anasys nanoIR systems provide unrivaled nanoscale FTIR spectroscopy, chemical and material property mapping capabilities, delivering true, model free nanoscale FTIR spectra for a wide range of polymers. Applications include:

  • Polymer blends
  • Polymeric multilayer films
  • Nanocomposites
  • Bio-polymers, nanofibers
  • Polymeric thin films and interfaces
  • Particles, defects and contaminants


The integration of Atomic Force Microscopy capabilities uniquely provides correlation of nano FTIR spectra and chemical imaging with AFM-based topography, nanomechanical and nanothermal material property mapping.

Block Copolymers


Tapping AFM-IR provides high resolution chemical imaging of PS/PMMA co-polymer at 1730cm-1 and 1492cm-1. The images are combined to show chemical contrast.

Copolymer with line b

Tapping AFM-IR demonstrates sub 10 nm imaging resolution on block co-polymer substrate of PS/PMMA, as shown in cross-section.

Polymer Blend

Poylymer Interface Chemistry

AFM-IR spectra (left) and morphology (right) of a polymer blend across a rubber/nylon interface, demonstrating the high chemical spatial resolution of AFM-IR.

Polymer Blend: Sulfur Containing Poly(arylene)

Polymer Blend Sulfur Containing Polyarylene

AFM-IR Spectra & IR chemical mapping at multiple wavenumbers of a sulfur-polyarylene blend. Correlated topography and nano-mechanical property mapping are shown.

Polymeric Multilayer Film

Multilayer Film

The correlation of AFM-IR to transmission FTIR allows unambiguous identification of sub-micron layers in multilayer films. Above: AFM-IR point series spectra of a multilayer film with corresponding topography image.



IR spectra and imaging of SiO2 nanoparticles in polypropylene, showing aggregation of the SiO2 and non-uniform distribution. Image courtesy of IPF Dresden.

Interface Analysis of Composites

Carbon fiber epoxy

nanoIR measurements on a carbon fiber-epoxy composite, revealing variations in chemical composition across the fiber/epoxy interface.

Polymer Nano Fibers

Rabolt quote data

Kevlar Fiber

Fiber kevlar 2

AFM-IR spectra (left) of a single microfilament (~1.3 µm) of a kevlar fiber.

Nanoscale Molecular Orientation

Nanoscale Molec Orient

AFM-IR spectra on electrospun PVDF fibers under two different IR polarizations (R) IR absorption image at 1404 cm-1 of crossed PVDF fibers under polarized illumination (polarization direction shown by arrow).

Polymer Degradation/Failure

Polymer Failure Analsys

AFM-IR absorption spectra reveal evidence of localized nanoscale oxidation caused by environmental stress cracking in a polyurethane insulation for a pacemaker lead.

Thin Polymer Films

Thin Polymer Films

Resonance enhanced AFM-IR enables high quality measurements on very thin films. Above: A 20 nm film on PMMA with AFM-IR spectra (right).

Polymer Interfaces

PolymerInterfaces PeakShiftsMatter

AFM-IR spectra (left) and AFM image (center) of the interface between polyethylene and polyamide. At the interface, a shift in the CH stretch peak position and width is seen, indicating a difference in the molecular orientation.

Biorenewable Polymer

Biorenewable Polymer2

IR spectra of locally heat treated polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) reveal variations in crystalline/amorphous content (C-O-C stretches, 1270 cm-1).

Nanomechanical Property Mapping of Polymer Blends

Nanomechanical Property Mapping

Lorentz Contact Resonance (LCR) simplifies component selective imaging in polymer blends. Above: Height (left) and LCR images (center, right) of a blend of polystyrene (PS) and low density polyethylene (LDPE). The LCR images were obtained at two different contact resonance frequencies corresponding to strong resonances of the PS (center) and LDPE (right).

Nanoscale Thermal Analysis of Polymer Blends

LCR multilayer film

Nanothermal analysis (L) and Lorentz Contact Resonance image (R) on a multilayer film. The LCR image clearly discriminates the polymer layers such that local glass transition temperatures can be measured on specific layers.