Breathing new life into existing tech: FT-IR spectrometer shows molecular orientation

IMAGE: 3D printable optical setup with built-in pattern chamber for a FT-IR spectrometer. Sample is placed on the Si ATR crystals for measurement.
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Credit: ©M. Takahashi & Ok. Okada, Osaka Prefecture University

“Any problem can be solved with a little ingenuity”. While they is probably not the originators of this quote, current work from researchers at Osaka Prefecture University into understanding the molecular orientation of hybrid thin-film materials is a concrete instance of its central message. “We wanted everyone to have access to this knowledge,” states analysis lead Professor Masahide Takahashi of the OPU Graduate School of Engineering. Using laboratory-grade tools with 3D printable optical setups, his analysis group has established a straightforward, versatile, but extremely delicate strategy to establish the orientation of molecules and chemical bonds in crystalline organic-inorganic hybrid skinny movie deposited on a substrate as small as 10 nm, “even film with 3 molecular layers”, continues the Professor. Their work was printed on June 18th in Chemical Science.

The tools they used was a spectrometer that employs a method referred to as Fourier rework infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and polarized infrared mild with an initially designed 3D-printed attenuated whole reflectance (ATR) unit. FT-IR spectrometers are present in most laboratories partly as a result of they present what molecules are present in a pattern – however they haven’t been in a position to reveal the three-dimensional orientation of those molecules relative to the substrates. This is essential to the manufacturing of thin-film gadgets that may be nanometers in measurement, as an unpredicted shift in molecular orientation at that degree could cause your entire construction of the machine to interrupt down.

Conventionally, in FT-IR spectroscopy in transmission configuration, infrared mild penetrates from the highest of the pattern like a skewer. This slender level of entry and exit doesn’t permit the pattern sufficient interplay with the sunshine to excite the molecules of their chemically bonded states. “We realized that by re-orienting the sample, we could introduce polarized light directly into the substrate of the thin film, generating an evanescent wave that heats up the sample, exciting certain molecules and betraying their orientation,” states Bettina Baumgartner, a visiting researcher on the crew, “we just needed a new kind of sample interface”, provides Associate Professor Kenji Okada. This is the place the crew designed a brand-new ATR optical setup that bounces polarized infrared mild by means of the whole lot of the pattern substrate permitting the crew to look at the vibration of all molecules aligned with the electrical area part of the infrared mild, revealing their orientation. Any lab with a 3-D printer could make these ATR optical setups.

This technique, which the crew used to acquire the structural data of metal-organic framework skinny movie with a level of crystal orientation corresponding to X-ray structural evaluation, is anticipated to be a helpful technique in lots of conditions in supplies science, akin to the place orientation management is linked to controlling bodily properties, the practical enchancment of porous supplies used for CO2 seize, and the event of new heterogeneous catalysts.



Journal Information: Chemical Science

Paper title: Infrared Crystallography for Framework and Linker Orientation in Metal-Organic Framework Films

Authors: Bettina Baumgartner, Ken Ikigaki, Kenji Okada, Masahide Takahashi

DOI: 10.1039/D1SC02370E

About Osaka Prefecture University, Japan

Osaka Prefecture University (OPU) is likely one of the largest public universities in Japan.

OPU includes three campuses, with a primary campus in Sakai, Osaka. With 4 schools for undergraduate college students and 7 graduate colleges, the college provides stellar training in a myriad of fields like engineering, life and environmental sciences, science, economics, humanities and social sciences, and nursing. Not simply this, the college additionally homes numerous worldwide college students, who can enrich their lives with alternatives for internships and trade packages.

In April 2022, OPU will unite with Osaka City University (OCU) to kind Japan’s largest public college, Osaka Metropolitan University (tentative title).

For extra particulars, please go to:

Osaka Prefecture University (OPU):

Osaka Metropolitan University (tentative title):


Grant-in Aid from Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (19K15292, 20H00401) PRESTO, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JPMJPR1913) International Fellowship for Research in Japan, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (PE20025) Precursory Research for Embryonic Science and Technology (JPMJPR19I3) Izumi Science and Technology Foundation Cooperative Research Program of Institute for Catalysis, Hokkaido University (21B1019)

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