A new approach to achieving chemical mapping on a nanoscale is described that can provide 2D and tomographic images of surface and near-surface structure. The method comprises dissolving material from the surface of the sample by applying a series of aliquots of solvent then analyzing their contents after removing them, in between exposures the surface is imaged with atomic force microscopy. This technique relies on being able to compensate for any drift between images by use of software. It was applied to a blend of two polymers, PMMA and PS. The analytical data identified the material that was dissolved and the topography images enabled the location of the various materials to be determined by analyzing local dis-solution kinetics. The prospects for generalizing the approach are discussed.
Reading, M., Ghori, M., Brown, D. R., Fleming, L., Antonijevic, M. D., Grandy, D. B., ... Conway, B. (2017). Chemical Imaging by Dissolution Analysis: Localized Kinetics of Dissolution Behavior to Provide Two-Dimensional Chemical Mapping and Tomographic Imaging on a Nanoscale. Analytical Chemistry, 89(11), 5882-5890. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.analchem.7b00202