Probe Sample Property Measurement and Imaging System

University of Colorado Boulder Background
Infrared (IR) vibrational scattering scanning near-field optical microscopy (s-SNOM) has advanced to become a powerful nanoimaging and spectroscopy technique with applications ranging from biological to quantum materials. Unfortunately, full spatiospectral s-SNOM continues to be challenged by long measurement times and drift during the acquisition of large associated datasets.
Technology Overview
Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder have produced a smart sampling scattering scanning nearfield optical microscopy system comprising a probe with a tip, wherein the probe is connected to an actuator to move the tip to the desired location over a sample, and a system that is configured to generate instructions to perform a spectroscopy analysis of the sample by scanning selected areas within a grid covering of the sample. Using a spectroscopy analysis system communicably coupled to the smart sampling system and configured to take measurements from the selected areas within the grid covering the sample and perform a spectroscopy analysis based on the measurements collected. A reconstruction module enables the reconstruction of an image of the sample from the spectroscopy analysis based on the measurements collected from the areas.
This technology paves the way to fast spatio-spectral chemical and materials nano-spectroscopy with a reduction of sampling rate for scattering scanning near-field optical microscopy (s-SNOM) by 4 to 30 times.
The CU team has demonstrated that the number of necessary measurements can be greatly reduced by using available prior knowledge of the bandwidth of the light source, spectral sparsity, and the limited number of distinct chemical species. The technique, called smart s-SNOM, combines a reconstruction algorithm based on compressed sampling and matrix completion with an adaptive sampling strategy. Using real datasets, the technique demonstrated the potential for rapid chemical nanoimaging for routine applications from biology and material science to nanophotonics.

Stage of Development
Proof of Concept.

Increased speed without loss of quality of reconstruction
Less photo damage to sample


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