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Graphene-Based Platform for Infrared Near-Field Nanospectroscopy of Water and Biological Materials in an Aqueous Environment

Journal Reference

ACS Nano. 2015;9(8):7968-75.

Khatib O1, Wood JD2, McLeod AS, Goldflam MD, Wagner M, Damhorst GL, Koepke JC, Doidge GP, Rangarajan A, Bashir R, Pop E3, Lyding JW, Thiemens MH,Keilmann F4, Basov DN.

Show Affiliations
  1. Department of Physics, Department of Chemistry, and JILA, University of Colorado , Boulder, Colorado 80309, United States.
  2. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University , Evanston, Illinois 60208, United States.
  3. Department of Electrical Engineering, Stanford University , Stanford, California 94305, United States.
  4. Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and Center for Nanoscience , 80539 München, Germany.

Abstract

Scattering scanning near-field optical microscopy (s-SNOM) has emerged as a powerful nanoscale spectroscopic tool capable of characterizing individual biomacromolecules and molecular materials. However, applications of scattering-based near-field techniques in the infrared (IR) to native biosystems still await a solution of how to implement the required aqueous environment. In this work, we demonstrate an IR-compatible liquid cell architecture that enables near-field imaging and nanospectroscopy by taking advantage of the unique properties of graphene. Large-area graphene acts as an impermeable monolayer barrier that allows for nano-IR inspection of underlying molecular materials in liquid. Here, we use s-SNOM to investigate the tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) in water underneath graphene. We resolve individual virus particles and register the amide I and II bands of TMV at ca. 1520 and 1660 cm(-1), respectively, using nanoscale Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (nano-FTIR). We verify the presence of water in the graphene liquid cell by identifying a spectral feature associated with water absorption at 1610 cm(-1).

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Graphene-Based Platform for Infrared Near-Field Nanospectroscopy - global medical discovery