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

Omar Khatib, Joshua D. Wood, Alexander S. McLeod, Michael D. Goldflam, Martin Wagner, Gregory L. Damhorst, Justin C. Koepke, Gregory P. Doidge, Aniruddh Rangarajan, Rashid Bashir, Eric Pop, Joseph W. Lyding, Mark H. Thiemens, Fritz Keilmann, D. N. Basov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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. (Figure Presented).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7968-7975
Number of pages8
JournalACS Nano
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 25 2015


  • biomaterials
  • infrared nanospectroscopy
  • nanoimaging
  • near-field
  • s-SNOM
  • water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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