- 1. General Beamline Information
- 2. Sample Preparation
- 3. IR Windows for Transmission
- 4. Remote access to your data from the VBL site
What wavelengths can this beamline cover?
Our FTIR microscope typically operates in the mid-IR region from 700 cm-1 up to 6000 cm-1. Please see Technical Information for more details. The long wavelenth range can also be extended to 550 cm-1 if required using the wide band detector but with a 10x loss in sensitivity, and a larger aperture size of 20x20 μm2 is required, compromising spatial resolution. We recommend that this detector only be used if you are interested in specific bands within the 900-550 cm-1 range.
|Using a 20x20 μm2 aperture.||Using a 5x5 μm2 aperture.|
How do I demonstrate that I need the synchrotron for my experiments?
How long will it take to measure an IR map of my sample?
If your sample is weakly absorbing, it will take longer to complete any maps as you will need to increase the number of averages per point. This can be assessed at the beginning of your beamtime.
- 128 averages, approx. 25 seconds per point
- 256 averages, approx. 1 minute per point
I would like to use the XFM and IR beamlines to examine the same samples. Can this be done?
What exactly is the difference between the THz/Far IR beamline and the IR Microscopy beamline?
The IR Microscopy beamline operates in the mid-IR region (typically 700-3800 cm-1) and is ideal for studying condensed-phase, heterogeneous samples due to the high spatial (by which we mean high lateral spatial) resolution that can be achieved. The measurement area can be decreased to diffraction-limited spot sizes of between 3-5 microns, and the Bruker microscope stage can step across a sample in precise steps of down to 1 micron. This beamline is thus ideal for creating chemical maps of a sample by rastor mapping along complex samples over regions of interest.
The THz/Far IR beamline operates at much longer wavelengths, down to 10 cm-1. At these longer wavelengths the larger minimum spot size means this beamline does not perform the same type of spatial mapping across a sample (please see THz/Far IR page for more information). Instead this beamline takes advantage of the synchrotron source and their Bruker spectrometer to measure:
Gaseous samples at high spectral resolution, by which we mean the beamline can measure extremely detailed IR spectra of gases by stepping the IR wavelength in precise increments of down to 0.00096 cm-1, &
The THz spectrum of condensed phase, homogenous samples, by placing the sample in the beam path where the beam has a typical spot size of about 3 mm. Here, as with IRM condensed phase samples, there is no advantage to going to high spectral resolutions so samples are typically scanned at spectral resolutions of between 4-8 cm-1
Can I measure the depth profile of my sample?
This beamline cannot do depth profiling (axial mapping of a sample), however when operating in transmission mode the z-height of the microscope stage can be moved through the focus of your sample in a set step size, so if your sample is thicker than 5 microns, e.g. you are working with a 30 micron polished wafer of rock with an inclusion in the middle, you can focus the beam into your inclusion. The lateral spatial resolution achievable does degrade from the diffraction limit however when you have thicker samples.
The ATR on our beamline is also of a fixed angle, so again cannot be used to profile depth.
You recommend use of transmission over transflection IR spectroscopy where possible. Why is that?
Do I need to microtome my samples for analysis?
Site access can be granted earlier than your scheduled beamtime to prepare microtomed samples if arranged with beamline staff prior to your beamtime.
If you require microtomed tissue and/or cryosections, or your samples are tricky and you require expert help, we recommend contacting the Victorian-based company Hawthorn Histology for advice.
Can the beamline be used to examine soil samples?
Where do you buy your IR transmissive windows?
Which IR transmissive windows should I use for my experiment?
0.13 to 10 micronsLower limit at beamline 1000 cm-1
|Our most commonly used window material. Particularly good for cell culturing purposes or when working with wet samples, e.g. cyrosectioning, etc. Windows can be carefully washed and reused.|
0.15 to 12 micronsLower limit at beamline 900 cm-1
|Lower wavenumber limit than CaF2 windows but the windows craze/go cloudy quickly when in the presence of water.|
0.6 to 21 micronsLower limit at beamline 750 cm-1 using the narrow-band MCT detector
|Particularly good when working with wet samples or when analysis requires a lower wavenumber limit. Can be used in cell culturing, however this appears dependent on the cell line. Some lines easily adhere to the surface while others appear to show toxicity from the window material. It can help to first coat the windows in protein (soak in culture media) before cell culturing. Windows can be carefully washed and reused.|
Can I wash and reuse my IR transmissive windows?
How do I download my original data when offsite from the synchrotron?
- username: your email address
- password: you would have made one when you first logged in to create an account with the user office - if you don't know it, click password recovery
I wanted to download my data remotely from the synchrotron but I cannot see my EPN/project in the ‘Select Experiment’ window.
To see data from a particular project, the Principle Scientist listed on the original Experiment Authorisation form must give you access via their VBL login. They can do this by going to ‘Experiment User Access Management’ under their VBL login, choosing the EPN and then adding the names of anyone they wish to have access to the original data by typing in their email address and double clicking on the name. Note that people must be registered users of the Australian Synchrotron for their emails to be present in the system.