Singapore Synchrotron Light Source

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ISMI: Infrared Spectro/Microscopy

Contact: Dr. Agnieszka Banas (
Contact: Dr. Krzysztof Banas (
Contact: Dr. Sascha Pierre Heussler( resolution FTIR spectrometer)
Contact: Userdesk (

1. THz meta-foil - a platform for practical applications of metamaterials

Meta-foils are all-metal free-standing electromagnetic metamaterials based on interconnected S-string architecture. They provide a versatile applications’ platform. Lacking any substrate or embedding matrix, they feature arrays of parallel upright S-strings with each string longitudinally shifted by half an S compared to its neighbour to form capacitance-inductance loops.

Examples of bent Au meta-foils: (a) torque along z axis. Diameter of steel cylinder about 5 mm. (b) torque along y axis (Moser H. O. et all Geometry-function relationships in meta-foils Proceedings of SPIE Vol. 7711, 7711-43 (2010), in Metamaterials)

(a) 1SE power transmission surface in false colours;
(b) transmission spectrum of 1SE sample at normal incidence;
(c) transmission dependency on incidence angle for both magnetic and electric resonance peaks;
(d ) schematic of experimental set-up for FTIR characterization

(Moser H. O. et all THz meta-foil - a platform for practical applications of metamaterials Journal of Modern Optics 2010, 1–8, iFirst






Experimental results, simulation, and mechanical analysis show that presently available meta-foils manufactured by SSLS enable building a cylindrical hyperlens in the 3-4 THz range. An analysis of the electromagnetic properties indicates that it may be achievable to design and build metafoils for resonance frequencies in the fingerprint region still using present technology involving primary pattern generation by laser writer and optical mask alignment. This would open up sub-wavelength resolution IR microscopy on biological systems and others. Beyond that, electron beam writing of the primary pattern and improved mask alignment would potentially lead to the near infrared and visible range.

2. Fast and accurate characterization of explosives by means of synchrotron radiation

For the first time physicists from SSLS with policemen from Forensic Management Branch, Criminal Investigation Department worked together on the Project of the Enterprise Challenge Program (Prime Minister’s Office of the Government of the Republic of Singapore).

Based on obtained results, we have proved that synchrotron-radiation-based Fourier Transform InfraRed spectroscopy (FTIR) at SSLS can be used to identify and discriminate explosives on the basis of their characteristic fingerprint spectra in real post-blast forms. Moreover, the universality of the method, high sensitivity, speed and repeatability of results make it an ideal tool for the examination of remains after an explosion in order to serve forensic purposes (as criminalistic traces).

3. New look at atherosclerosis via synchrotron infrared radiation microscopy (collaboration with Dr M.Gajda from CM UJ, Krakow, Poland)

Cardio-vascular diseases are the leading cause of death in the developed world, and atherosclerosis makes an important contribution. Its pathomechanism is not entirely understood. It has been proposed that atherosclerosis is a multietiological inflammatory and degenerative disease, related not only to cholesterol overload. Suitable diagnostic methods are of the essence. SSLS researchers applied synchrotron radiation infrared micro-spectroscopy and spectro-microscopy at SSLS‘ ISMI facility to the investigation of a mice model that spontaneously develops severe hyperlipidemia and atherosclerotic plaques. They demonstrated that the excellent sensitivity and spatial resolution of the FTIR microscope allow detailed information to be obtained from extremely small unstained tissue sections, thus providing an optical method for biochemical evaluation of artery specimens. The technique also allows the mapping of the spatial distribution of tissue molecular constituents (proteins, lipids and calcium hydroxyapatite) in atherosclerotic artery. In addition, the ability of IR microspectroscopy to characterize macromolecules in situ suggests that this technique can be a powerful diagnostic tool for other diseases as well.