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Stimulated Raman spectroscopy and nanoscopy of molecules using near field photon induced forces without resonant electronic enhancement gain

Tamma, V., Huang, F., Nowak, D., Kumar Wickramasinghe, H.
Appl. Phys. Lett.


We report on stimulated Raman spectroscopy and nanoscopy of molecules, excited without resonant electronic enhancement gain, and recorded using near field photon induced forces. Photon-induced interaction forces between the sharp metal coated silicon tip of an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) and a sample resulting from stimulated Raman excitation were detected. We controlled the tip to sample spacing using the higher order flexural eigenmodes of the AFM cantilever, enabling the tip to come very close to the sample. As a result, the detection sensitivity was increased compared with previous work on Raman force microscopy. Raman vibrational spectra of azobenzene thiol and l-phenylalanine were measured and found to agree well with published results. Near-field force detection eliminates the need for far-field optical spectrometer detection. Recorded images show spatial resolution far below the optical diffraction limit. Further optimization and use of ultrafast pulsed lasers could push the detection sensitivity towards the single molecule limit.

DOI: 10.1063/1.4952738