Approaches to mid-infrared, super-resolution imaging and spectroscopy
This perspective highlights recent advances in super-resolution, mid-infrared imaging and spectroscopy. It provides an overview of the different near field microscopy techniques developed to address the problem of chemically imaging specimens in the mid-infrared “fingerprint” region of the spectrum with high spatial resolution. We focus on a recently developed far-field optical technique, called infrared photothermal heterodyne imaging (IR-PHI), and discusses the technique in detail. Its practical implementation in terms of equipment used, optical geometries employed, and underlying contrast mechanism are described. Milestones where IR-PHI has led to notable advances in bioscience and materials science are summarized. The perspective concludes with a future outlook for robust and readily accessible high spatial resolution, mid-infrared imaging and spectroscopy techniques.