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mIRage IR Microscope

Photothermal Spectroscopy Corp

Photothermal mIRage

Overcoming the greatest limitations of IR spectroscopy

The Photothermal mIRage is an IR microscope that breaks the diffraction limit and bridges the gap between conventional IR micro-spectroscopy and nanoscale IR spectroscopy.

  • Sub-micron IR spectroscopy and imaging
  • No need for thin sections
  • Transmission quality IR spectra in reflection mode
  • Broad range of applications

Mirage overcomes two of the greatest issues in IR microscopy: achieving sub-micron spatial resolution and measuring thick samples in reflection mode without the contact limitations of ATR, and without dispersive artifacts.

Contact us for more information and quotes:
+44 (0)1223 422 269 or

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PhotoThermal Mirage IR Microscope


  • Polymeric & non-polymeric materials
  • Multi-layer films – more info
  • Life science
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Forensics
  • Micro-electronics contamination


  • Sub-micron spatial resolution
  • Non-dispersive spectra on thick samples
  • Non-contact measurements
  • Overcomes the previous limitations of IR microscopy

O-PTIR Spectroscopy

Optical Photothermal Infrared spectroscopy is a fast and easy to use non-contact optical technique, which overcomes the IR diffraction limit.

How does it work?

A tunable, pulsed mid-IR laser is focused on the sample’s surface. This causes photothermal effects, which are then measured using a visible probe laser.

Advantages of O-PTIR

  • Data is collected quickly and easily.
  • Non-contact based technique.
  • Spectra are comparable to FTIR, without the dispersive artifacts of ATR.
  • Samples do not need to be thin, so preparation is easy and the entire process is much faster.

How O-PTIR Works

Watch a recorded webinar

How O-PTIR overcomes the two main problems of IR spectroscopy:

– Poor spatial resolution
– Time-consuming sample preparation


Dr Curtis Marcott of Light Light Solutions and Craig Prater of Photothermal present the benefits of O-PTIR.


Watch now…

O-PTIR Example

Bone sample: Reflection mode IR spectra and hyper-spectral imaging. 25 x 25 µm array, 500-nm spacing. Left: Single wavelength image (1058 cm-1) from Hyperspectral data set
Right: Single-pixel spectrum. 1s collection time

Example Applications

The mIRage provides valuable information for a wide range of applications; if your area of work is not mentioned here, please get in touch.

Polymer Multilayer Film

Click to enlarge

Multilayer Film

Block face of a multi-layer polymer film sample with seven layers. HYPERspectra images(20 x 85 μm size) were taken at a rate of 1 sec/spectra, with 1 μm spacing.

The spectra shows the corresponding images of absorption of carbonyl, amide II and CH stretching bands of the film components, respectively.

The blue sections of the spectra are the locations of the line arrays.

Data courtesy of G. Meyers, M. Rickard Dow Chemical Company

PTIR: Polymer film

Click to enlarge

Polymer Film Defects

The optical image shows a defect in a 240 µm thick double layer film. The markers show the location of the measurements.

Bottom: mIRage IR spectra collected from defect-free area. The peaks are recognisable as isotactic polypropylene (998cm-1).

Top: mIRage IR spectra from the defect. The isotactic polypropylene bands are not as visible or consistent in this region, suggesting a loss of crystallinity.

PTIR Life Science Applications

Life Science

a) HYPERspectral array location of mouse bone. HYPERspectral images and taken at b) 1047 cm-1 and c) 1660 cm-1 showing mineral and protein distribution, respectively. d) Corresponding spectra from the inner bone, showing a higher absorption for phosphate.

Courtesy of Prof. Nancy Pleshko, Dr. Mugdha Padalkar and Jessica M. Falcon, Temple University

Drug Polymer Blend Dispersion

Click to enlarge


HYPERspectral images and corresponding spectra taken at:

(a) 1760 cm-1 showing PLGA distribution
(b)1666 cm-1 showing dexamethasone
(c) Optical view of the PLGA/dexamethasone blend. A 40 x 40 μm image is selected for simultaneous HYPERspectral measurements.

Excedrine tablet

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Optical image of an Excedrin tablet. The markers on the image show where the individual spectra were collected from within the tablet.

The unsmoothed IR spectra show the distribution of various components.

Forensics fabric sample

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Optical image of a fabric sample. The marker points to where ~0.5 µm IR spectra were acquired using mIRage.

Strong absorbance at 1732 cm-1 indicates a carbonyl stretch of polyester.

Simultaneous Sub-Micron IR and Raman Microscopy – A World First

Watch a recorded webinar about simultaneous IR and Raman microscopy, presented by Dr Mustafa Kansiz of Photothermal Spectroscopy Corp.

The webinar provides an introduction to O-PTIR and its benefits in a range of fields including defect and failure analysis, polymers, materials, life science, pharmaceuticals and forensics:

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