Chemical imaging combines the spatial specificity of optical microscopy with the spectral selectivity of vibrational spectroscopy. Mid-infrared (IR) absorption imaging instruments are now able to capture high-quality spectra with microscopic spatial detail, but the limits of their ability to resolve spatial and spectral objects remain less understood. In particular, the sensitivity of measurements to chemical and spatial changes and rules for optical design have been presented, but the influence of spectral information on spatial sensitivity is as yet relatively unexplored. We report an information theory-based approach to quantify the spatial localization capability of spectral data in chemical imaging. We explicitly consider the joint effects of the signal-to-noise ratio and spectral separation that have significance in experimental settings to derive resolution limits in IR spectroscopic imaging.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- General Energy
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films