The advancement of analytical methods and systems are paving the way for innovation in academic, industrial and government sectors. As a result of the fast-paced progress, more research questions are asked that surpass the limits of these technologies. The mIRage IR Microscope is now answering these questions using Optical Photothermal IR (O-PTIR) spectroscopy, as well as IRaman – simultaneous submicron IR and Raman microscopy. With more chemical characterization requirements being met, mIRage is ushering in the next generation of applications and technology developments in numerous industries.
Successful identification of contamination is a critical step in ensuring product or process quality is maintained. With stricter control standards and the decreasing size of high-tech products, confidently identifying smaller features is becoming increasingly important. With submicron spatial resolution using a non-contact reflection mode, O-PTIR easily resolves the most challenging of contamination issues.
Submicron line scan of polystyrene beads embedded in epoxy
Left: Demonstration of ~400nm spatial resolution as determined from a line scan (at 100nm steps) across 1 µm diameter polystyrene beads embedded in epoxy and sectioned to ~300nm thick. Right: A sharp boundary of only ~400nm is observed on both sides of the polystyrene beads as the IR spectral features transition between the two components.
Film defect identification
Left: Optical image of defect in a 240 µm thick two layer film. Markers on image represent the location of subsequent O-PTIR spectral collection. Right: Spectra collected in the defect-free (red) and defect (blue) region of the sample. The spectra display peaks indicative of isotactic polypropylene (998 cm-1). Insert: In the plot of the varying intensities for the isotactic polypropylene peak, both on the defect and off, The film region shows consistent signal intensity, while the defect region shows significant variability.
Polymers are present in virtually all products we interact with daily. With increasing environmental awareness, polymer science is looking at more novel and complex solutions to improve functionality and reduce environmental impact. These requirements often exceed the limits of traditional IR microscopy, especially when it comes to spatial resolution. The mIRage IR Microscope, with its unique submicron spatial resolution using a non-contact reflection mode technique, is able to meet even the most demanding of analytical and sample characterization needs.
Application note: Submicron resolution IR spectroscopy and imaging of multilayer films for food packaging
Little to no sample preparation of a multilayer film
Left: A multilayer packaging film block face sample with manually selected markers for subsequent O-PTIR spectra collection. Right: The spectra easily show difference sin composition of each layer.
Submicron spatial resolution between film layers
Left: An optical image of a food multilayer film sample. Right: Corresponding O-PTIR spectra spaced 500 nm apart, with clear spectral distinction.
Submicron O-PTIR imaging of live cells in water
Left: Optical image of hydrated epithelial cheek cells in water. Middle: Key macromolecules are easily spectrally discerned and spatially isolated, with the lipid inclusion as small as 0.5-1 µm being easily resolved. Spectra are not corrected for water and therefore inclusive of water absorbances. Images were collected at 500 nm step size. Right: The measurement was collected in transmission mode, as shown in the technical illustration.
IRaman analysis of red blood cells
IR imaging of mineral:protein distribution in mouse bone
Left: Hyperspectral array images of mouse bone taken at 1047 cm-1 (second from left) and 1660 cm-1 (second from right) show mineral and protein distribution, respectively. Right: Corresponding spectra taken from the inner bone, showing a higher absorption for phosphate.
Data courtesy of Prof. Nancy Pleshko, Dr. Mugdha Padalkar, and Jessica M. Falcon, Temple University
Pharmaceutical analysis often requires very precise and accurate measurements. With often tightening regulatory standards, development of new analytical methods must correlate. With unique submicron spatial chemical resolution, combined with simultaneous IR and Raman microscopy (IRaman), the mIRage IR Microscope is uniquely placed to meet and exceed the analytical needs of the pharmaceutical industry, across applications areas such as failure analysis, subvisibles and API/Excipient distribution in solid dose or emulsion-based formulations.
Distribution analysis of a PLGA/Dexamethasone blend
Left: Optical image of a PLGA/dexamethasone blend, with a 40 x 40 µm area selected for IR imaging. Middle: A hyperspectral image of the selected region taken at 1760 cm-1 showing PLGA distribution, and at 1666 cm-1 showing dexamethasone (Right).