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Dynamic Full-Field Infrared Imaging with Multiple Synchrotron Beams

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journal contribution
posted on 19.02.2016, 14:22 by Eli Stavitski, Randy J. Smith, Megan W. Bourassa, Alvin S. Acerbo, G. L. Carr, Lisa M. Miller
Microspectroscopic imaging in the infrared (IR) spectral region allows for the examination of spatially resolved chemical composition on the microscale. More than a decade ago, it was demonstrated that diffraction-limited spatial resolution can be achieved when an apertured, single-pixel IR microscope is coupled to the high brightness of a synchrotron light source. Nowadays, many IR microscopes are equipped with multipixel Focal Plane Array (FPA) detectors, which dramatically improve data acquisition times for imaging large areas. Recently, progress been made toward efficiently coupling synchrotron IR beamlines to multipixel detectors, but they utilize expensive and highly customized optical schemes. Here we demonstrate the development and application of a simple optical configuration that can be implemented on most existing synchrotron IR beamlines to achieve full-field IR imaging with diffraction-limited spatial resolution. Specifically, the synchrotron radiation fan is extracted from the bending magnet and split into four beams that are combined on the sample, allowing it to fill a large section of the FPA. With this optical configuration, we are able to oversample an image by more than a factor of 2, even at the shortest wavelengths, making image restoration through deconvolution algorithms possible. High chemical sensitivity, rapid acquisition times, and superior signal-to-noise characteristics of the instrument are demonstrated. The unique characteristics of this setup enabled the real-time study of heterogeneous chemical dynamics with diffraction-limited spatial resolution for the first time.