Thin Film Analysis by Nanomechanical Infrared Spectroscopy

Andrea Casci Ceccacci*, Alberto Cagliani, Paolo Marizza, Silvan Schmid, Anja Boisen

*Corresponding author for this work

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There is a fundamental need for techniques for thin film characterization. The current options for obtaining infrared (IR) spectra typically suffer from low signal-to-noise-ratios (SNRs) for sample thicknesses confined to a few nanometers. We present nanomechanical infrared spectroscopy (NAM-IR), which enables the measurement of a complete infrared fingerprint of a polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) layer as thin as 20 nm with an SNR of 307. Based on the characterization of the given NAM-IR setup, a minimum film thickness of only 160 pm of PVP can be analyzed with an SNR of 2. Compared to a conventional attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) system, NAM-IR yields an SNR that is 43 times larger for a 20 nm-thick PVP layer and requires only a fraction of the acquisition time. These results pave the way for NAM-IR as a highly sensitive, fast, and practical tool for IR analysis of polymer thin films.
Original languageEnglish
JournalACS Omega
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)7628-7635
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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