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Bruker Corp.


Bruker Introduces Second-Generation Inspire Nanochemical Imaging Solution

Features PeakForce IR and IR EasyAlign technology

Published: Thursday, July 9, 2015 - 13:33

(Bruker: Santa Barbara, CA) -- Bruker has released its second-generation Inspire infrared (IR) nanocharacterization system, which features 10-nm spatial resolution infrared chemical mapping in an easy-to-use, laser-safe package. With IR EasyAlign, Inspire simplifies scattering scanning near-field optical microscopy (sSNOM), a powerful technique for identifying chemical composition at the nanoscale. For the first time, the highest resolution nanoscale chemical mapping is now widely accessible. The system expands on Bruker’s  PeakForce Tapping technology to provide new information for graphene research, polymers, complex materials, and thin films, instantly correlating chemical maps with sample properties, such as modulus, conductivity, and work function. Inspire accomplishes all of this at the highest spatial resolution, making it an exceptionally powerful and versatile nanochemical characterization system.

“Inspire is really the first fully integrated sSNOM solution,” says Gilbert C. Walker, professor of chemistry at the University of Toronto. “That combined with its PeakForce Tapping capabilities will allow us to perform novel experiments right from the start. I am pleased to partner with Bruker to expand the great potential of sSNOM as a versatile tool for broader scientific discovery.”

Bruker Inspire IR nanocharacterization system

“Inspire is a nanoscale characterization system that extends atomic force microscopy into the chemical regime by providing 10-nm correlated infrared, mechanical, and topographical information,” says Steve Minne, general manager of Bruker’s AFM business. “This capability finally lets any researcher answer the fundamental question of ‘where is it?’ and now also ‘what is it?’ at the nanoscale.”

Infrared absorption image revealing 30 nm-scale chemical phase separation in PS-b-PMMA block copolymer. Acquired with Inspire at 1730 cm-1. Image size 500 nm.

Inspire provides infrared absorption and reflection chemical maps with a resolution limited only by the AFM tip radius, based on scattering scanning near-field optical microscopy. Inspire integrates all required optics, detectors, and configurable sources, as well as AFM hardware into a complete, laser-safe package. The system ensures accurate and optimized data in all channels by providing decoupled, stable optical alignment that is independent of probe position, combined with ScanAsyst auto-optimization of the tip-sample interaction. The result is repeatable, expert-level data, without the need for alignment expertise. To expand the information available, the Inspire control integration enables the automated acquisition of hyperspectral image stacks, while Bruker’s PeakForce IR instantly correlates the nanoscale chemical information with an expanding set of sample properties, including modulus, adhesion, conductivity, and work function. This full set of information is even accessible on samples not amenable to conventional contact and Tapping Mode-based approaches.


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Bruker Corp.

Bruker develops, manufactures, and provides scientific instruments and solutions for molecular and materials research and for industrial and applied analysis. In close cooperation with our customers, Bruker is enabling innovation, productivity and customer success in life science molecular research, in applied and pharma applications, in microscopy, nano-analysis and industrial applications, as well as in cell biology, preclinical imaging, clinical research, microbiology and molecular diagnostics.