Volume 2, Issue 10 (November 2005)
Photo Thermal Micro-Spectroscopy — A New Method for Infared Analysis of Materials
Many modern materials are composite structures with complex morphologies that play a large role in determining the material function. The ability to investigate the relationship between structure and property on a microscopic scale can play a crucial role in material development. Micro-Thermal Analysis (μTA)™ is a unique set of analytical techniques for characterizing materials on a micrometer and nanometer scale. Micro-TA combines the imaging power of atomic force microscopy with the ability to analyze physical, mechanical, thermal, and chemical characteristics at a specific point of interest on the surface of a material. At the heart of the technique is a miniaturized thermal probe. In a new technique termed Photo Thermal Micro-Spectroscopy (PTMS), this thermal probe is used to detect temperature fluctuations in samples that have been irradiated by IR radiation. A Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR) spectrum can be constructed from this information. This paper describes the PTMS technique and discusses recent applications.