Detecting nitrile-containing small molecules by infrared photothermal microscopy†
The use of infrared (IR) photothermal microscopy (IR-PTM) is emerging for imaging chemical substances in various samples. In this research, we demonstrated the use of a nitrile group as a vibrational tag to image target molecules in the low water-background region. We performed IR photothermal imaging of trifluoromethoxy carbonyl cyanide phenylhydrazone (FCCP) in cells and confirmed the high spatial resolution by photothermal detection using visible light as a probe beam. We imaged FCCP-treated HeLa cells and confirmed that the photothermal signal was indeed produced from the vibrational tag in lipid droplets. We also compared the results with nitrile imaging by stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) microscopy. From both the calculated and experimental results, IR-PTM demonstrated a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) several tens of times better than that of SRS microscopy on the basis of the same power input.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Biomedical Raman Imaging