Photo-induced Force Microscopy and Spectroscopy

PiF‑IR nano‑scale infrared spectroscopy

One billion times better than FTIR*

Get nano‑IR spectra to understand nanomaterials at a level unattainable with conventional FTIR techniques.

More time for science

Save your time for important work. PiF‑IR spectra are fast and easy to take with no finicky alignments or calibration standards needed.

Unbeatable specifications

As little as



per spectrum




spatial resolution

As low as



spectral resolution

* FTIR is diffraction limited to a resolution of about (10,000 nm )3 = 1×1012 nm3 while PiF‑IR has a resolution of less than (10 nm)3 = 1×103 nm3. Therefore, PiF‑IR is at least 1×109 times more precise.

AFM topography 3d rendering
PiF‑IR spectra can isolate chemical signatures at a much smaller scale than FTIR. Image is not to scale.
PiFM chemical map layer
PiF-IR spectra with bulk FTIR spectrum
AFM topography 3d render
Use fixed-wavelength PiFM images to map individual chemicals.
PiFM nano-IR chemical map
PiFM nano-IR chemical map

PiFM nano‑scale chemical mapping

The most advanced mapping technique available

Create chemical absorption maps of nano-scale features in a matter of minutes. Understand material phase distributions or contaminants and defects using high-resolution nano-IR images.

Less than



spatial resolution

As little as



for a 250px fixed-wavelength image

The power of notching

Capture clean spectra in one shot

Avoid sample burning and get cleaner spectra with granular laser power notching for both PiFM and PiF‑IR. Create unlimited notches to maximize SNR without having to wait for averaging to drive down noise.

Graph of increased chemical signal after notching laser power
Easily notch spectral regions to get cleaner data without damaging the sample.
PiF-IR spectra compared to FTIR spectra over AFM topography
PiF‑IR spectra are comparable to FTIR spectra.
PiF-IR spectra compared to FTIR spectra over AFM topography

Know what you are looking at

Leverage the power of FTIR libraries at an unprecedented scale. Existing FTIR spectra can be used to identify molecular fingerprints in PiF‑IR spectra.

Never miss a molecule

Easily extract all possible information from a sample using our automated hyPIR™ imaging mode. This technology creates hyper-spectral images where every pixel contains a complete IR spectrum.

AFM topography
Get the full picture using hyPIR™ images to record spectra at every pixel.
hyPIR image layer
PiF-IR spectra
AFM topography 3d render
PiF‑IR is extremely sensitive so it can detect mono-layers and trace contaminants whether they are organic or inorganic.
PiFM nanochemical map 3d render
PiF-IR point spectrum

Detect any molecule

It doesn’t matter if you want to study organics, inorganic, or both simultaneously. Get the most information with the excellent mono-layer molecular sensitivity provided by PiFM and PiF‑IR. Plus, expand the techniques into other wavelength ranges including visible light for even more varied experiments.

Understand the depth

Probe samples at different depths to get a 3D understanding of how materials are spatially related at the nano-scale.

AFM topography 3d render
PiF-IR spectra can be taken in either deep or surface sensitive modes.
Two individual PiFM chemical maps layered 3d render
Deep and surface sensative PiF-IR spectra
Vista One low-profile AFM head

A fast growing community

People all over the world love and use Vista series microscopes. See the research published using our tools.

What are Photo-induced forces?

Understand why PiFM and PiF‑IR are the most capable nano-IR techniques by learning the principles behind how they work.

AFM cantilever and feedback laser with PiF excitation laser

Our customer’s perspective

“We believe PiFM is poised to become a genuinely unique tool in the exploration of the phenomena derived in nanoscale systems. This new scanning probe imaging paradigm offers the distinctive prospect of detecting optically induced behavior without directly measuring the photon field created. A direct measure of induced photo-induced polarization/polarizability opens a very unique window in the study of complex materials systems. Moreover, exploiting resonance coupling of cantilever nano-mechanical modes as direct detectors of photo-mediated forces will allow phase-sensitive detection techniques to enable the sensitive observation of local optical responses with extraordinary nanoscale resolution.”

nano-IR,nano FTIR,AFM,nanomaterials,microscopy,nano spectroscopy,spectroscopy,nano-FTIR,chemical analysis,characterization,nano-scale,nano,nanomaterial,PiFM,PiF-IR,PiF‑IR,FTIR
William L. Wilson, PhD.Executive Director | Center for Nanoscale Systems
Faculty of Arts and Sciences | Harvard University
Cambridge, MA 02138

Don’t just see it. Identify it!

PiFM Applications