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RAP opportunity at National Institute of Standards and Technology     NIST

Nanoscale Infrared Spectroscopy (AFM-IR, PTIR) Advances and Applications


Physical Measurement Laboratory, Nanoscale Device Characterization Division

opportunity location
50.68.03.B8041 Gaithersburg, MD 20899

NIST only participates in the February and August reviews.


name email phone
Andrea Centrone 301.975.8225


Photothermal Induced Resonance (PTIR), also known as AFM-IR,[1,2] is a versatile and broadly applicable technique that combines atomic force microscopy (AFM) with IR spectroscopy thus enabling IR analysis with a spatial resolution 5-10 nm (i.e. well below the diffraction limit of IR light). This enables determining chemical composition, molecular conformations and polymorphism at the nanoscale.

Recent PTIR innovations at NIST leverage new nanoscale optomechanical AFM probes to improve the PTIR sensitivity (700x), time resolution (3750x), throughput (500000x),[3] which allow PTIR to also measure thermal conductivity and interfacial thermal conductance at the nanoscale. We also extended PTIR to the visible and near-IR spectral range, enabling mapping of bandgap and optical excitations. 

Current efforts at NIST aim to further develop the PTIR technique and apply it, in collaboration with several groups, to answer outstanding questions in nanotechnology, material science, nano and quantum technologies.

We look for candidates interested in in further developing NIST unique PTIR instrumentation (see description at: ) and/or applying PTR on specific materials or nano systems with efforts balanced based on candidate interests and expertise.

Examples of applications and materials of recent interest are: 2D materials, organic inorganic perovskites solar cells, plasmonic and polaritonics nanostructures, drug delivering nanoparticles, polypeptide nanostructures, metal-organic frameworks, oil painting, quantum materials etc.


1. Kurouski D., Dazzi A., Zenobi R. Centrone A., "Infrared and Raman chemical imaging and spectroscopy at the nanoscale". Chem. Soc. Rev., 2020, 49, 3315-3347.

2. Schwartz J .J., Jakob, D. S., Centrone A., "A guide to nanoscale IR spectroscopy: resonance enhanced transduction in contact and tapping mode AFM-IR". Chem. Soc. Rev., 2022, 51, 5248-5267. 

3. Wang M., Ramer G., Perez-Morelo D. J., Pavlidis G., Schwartz J. J., Yu L., Ilic R., Aksyuk V. A., Centrone A. "High throughput nanoimaging of thermal conductivity and interfacial thermal conductance" Nano Lett., 2022, 22, 4325-4332.

key words
AFM-IR; PTIR; Infrared spectroscopy; Nanoscale chemical imaging; Photothermal induced resonance; Atomic force microscopy; Materials characterization; Nanomaterials; Near-field imaging; Photovoltaics; 2D materials; quantum materials


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$82,764.00 $3,000.00
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