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Opportunity at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Nanoscale Infrared Spectroscopy (AFM-IR, PTIR) Advances and Applications


Physical Measurement Laboratory, Nanoscale Device Characterization Division

RO# Location
50.68.03.B8041 Gaithersburg, MD 20899

Please note: This Agency only participates in the February and August reviews.


name email phone
Centrone, Andrea 301.975.8225


Photothermal Induced Resonance (PTIR), also known as AFM-IR, is a versatile and broadly applicable technique that combines atomic force microscopy (AFM) with IR spectroscopy thus enabling IR analysis with a spatial resolution < 10 nm (i.e. well below the diffraction limit of IR light).

Recent PTIR innovations at NIST leverage new nanoscale optomechanical AFM probes to improve the PTIR sensitivity (50x), time resolution (1500x), throughput (2500x).1 We also recently obtained nanoscale infrared spectra in water, enabling for example nanoscale conformational analysis of peptides relevant for Alzheimer’s  disease.2

Current efforts at NIST aim to further develop the PTIR technique and apply it, in collaboration with several groups, to answer outstanding questions in nanotechnology, material science and biology.

We look for candidates interested in in further developing NIST unique PTIR instrumentation (see description at: ) and/or applying PTR on specific materials or nano or biological systems with efforts balanced based on candidate interests and expertise.

Examples of applications and materials of recent interest are: 2D materials, organic inorganic perovskites solar cells, plasmonic and polaritonics3 nanostructures, drug delivering nanoparticles, polypeptide nanostructures, metal-organic frameworks, metal-soaps in painting, quantum materials etc.


1.            Chae, J.; An, S.; Ramer, G.; Stavila, V.; Holland, G.; Yoon, Y.; Talin, A. A.; Allendorf, M.; Aksyuk, V. A.; Centrone, A. Nano Lett. 2017, 17, (9), 5587-5594.

2.            Ramer, G.; Ruggeri, F. S.; Levin, A.; Knowles, T. P. J.; Centrone, A. ACS Nano 2018, 12, (7), 6612-6619.

3.            Brown, L. V.; Davanco, M.; Sun, Z.; Kretinin, A.; Chen, Y.; Matson, J. R.; Vurgaftman, I.; Sharac, N.; Giles, A. J.; Fogler, M. M.; Taniguchi, T.; Watanabe, K.; Novoselov, K. S.; Maier, S. A.; Centrone, A.; Caldwell, J. D. Nano Lett. 2018, 18, (3), 1628-1636.

AFM-IR; PTIR; Infrared spectroscopy; Nanoscale chemical imaging; Photothermal induced resonance; Atomic force microscopy; Materials characterization; Nanomaterials; Near-field imaging; Photovoltaics; 2D materials; quantum materials


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$74,950.00 $3,000.00
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