Imaging Services

Molecular Vista Offers Photo-induced Force Microscopy (PiFM) Contract Analysis Services.

We work with many industrial clients and scholars, where PiFM provides the ability to resolve nanocomposites and highlight their constituents with <10 nm spatial resolution. For homogenous samples with features that are simply too small for traditional FTIR or too thin for ATR-FTIR techniques, PiFM provides the ability to identify spectrally the class of material. Spectra taken with PiFM can be used in any FTIR library search software. Given the sensitivity of industrial samples, we abide by strict confidentiality.

For more information, please contact us.

Key features:

  • Nanoscale chemical mapping with <10 nm spatial resolution to identify mixtures of disparate components through IR signatures 
  • IR spectroscopy with monolayer sensitivity
  • Applicable to a broad range of materials including semiconductors, solar cell materials, plasmonicsorganics, inorganics, pharmaceuticals, biological specimens (proteins, nucleotides, plants, tissues, …)geological specimens, ….  

Examples of past studies:

Chemical Analysis of Multilayer Films via PiFM

Questions that can be answered by PiFM:

  • Do all the layers exist?
  • Are the thicknesses for each layer correct?
  • What extent of mixing between different layers is taking place?

Potential Samples

  • Multi-layer polymer films
  • Multiple paint layers
  • Semiconductor cross-section

Thinnest detectable layer ~ 5 nm


PiFM Analysis of Core-Shell Nanoparticles

Questions that can be answered by PiFM:

  • Does the core exist?
  • Does the shell exist?
  • Depending on the core size, how complete is the shell coverage?

Potential Samples

  • Core: organic and inorganic
  • Shell: organic including polymers, drug molecules, nucleotides, proteins, etc.
  • Spherical, cylindrical, and even planar samples

 Smallest size analyzable ~ 20 nm in diameter


Analysis for Chemical Mixing at Nanoscale

PiFM images show that AlOx has infiltrated only PMMA blocks as intended.  However, the resulting swelling has reduced the region that PS occupies. In this example, there is a clear phase separation between PS and PMMA whereas there is mixing between PMMA and AlOx.

Questions that can be answered by PiFM:

  • Is there clear phase separation?
  • Is there blending/mixing?

Potential Samples

  • Polymer blends
  • Organic and inorganic composites and blends

Smallest feature sizes ~ 5 nm


Molecular Analysis of Nanoscale Defects

Questions that can be answered by PiFM:

  • What is the defect?
  • Is there a residue left behind?

Potential Samples:

  • Organic and inorganic defects
  • Organic or inorganic residue after a removal/cleaning process – even when invisible with SEM or AFM topography

Smallest size analyzable ~ 10 nm in diameter 

Thinnest residue analyzable ~ 1 nm

For more information, please contact us.

  • email: info@molecularvista.com
    (408) 915-2595

    6840 Via Del Oro
    Suite 110
    San Jose, CA 95119

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