Horiba XploRA-nano TERS/TEPL


The XploRA PLUS Raman Microscope head-based tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (TERS) and tip enhanced photoluminescence (TEPL) from Horiba, Inc. is a fully integrated TERS/TEPL system based on SmartSPM state of the art scanning probe microscope (SPM) and XploRA Raman micro-spectrometer. It uses a feedback light source with wavelength of 1300 nm. Filters at the feedback light source and detector avoid interference from the lasers used for spectroscopy. This allows for co-localized and simultaneous TERS and atomic force microscopy (AFM) measurements with excitation wavelengths of 532 nm and 638 nm. Some of the main instrument features are:

  • Fully motorized and automated SPM feedback laser alignment.
  • Automatic cantilever to the spectroscopic laser alignment after AFM tip exchange.
  • Motorized sample scanning stage with 10 nm step resolution and 70 x 50 mm X-Y movement range.
  • Scanning range 30 x 30 x 15 µm.
  • Conductive AFM measurement module allows low current Kelvin Probe measurements in a range of 100 fA to 10 μA .
  • Top-down and side spectroscopy excitation and collection allowing different measurement geometries.
  • The SPM and the optical microscope can be operated as stand-alone instruments.
  • The optical microscope is fully automated, truly confocal and capable of point and fast spectroscopic imaging.
  • Objective lenses available for confocal mode include:
    • 100x/0.9; WD = 0.21 mm
    • 10x/0.25; WD = 10.6 mm
    • 5x/0.1; WD = 20 mm
  • Confocal Raman / PL operation with a spatial resolution of 500 nm in XY and 1.5 μm in Z.
  • In TERS / TEPL mode, spatial resolution is dictated by SPM probe diameter and can be better than 10 nm.
  • Objective lenses available in TERS mode include:
    • 100x/0.7; WD = 2 mm
    • 10x/0.28; WD = 34 mm
  • Integrated spectrometer with four automated tunable gratings (600, 1200, 1800, and 2400 gr/mm) enabling different spectral ranges and resolutions.
  • Spectral resolutions of 1.4 cm-1  (532 nm laser) and 1.2 cm-1 (638 nm laser) at 520 cm-1 .
  • The spectral detector is a deep-cooled, front-illuminated low-noise / high-sensitivity EMCCD detector featuring a dark current of < 0.003 e- /pixel/s and readout noise < 1 e at 3 MHz.
  • Fully motorized, software-controlled polarization optics.
  • High efficiency filters allow Raman detection from 50 cm-1  and 60 cm-1  for the red and the green laser, respectively.
  • Photocurrent mapping module for photocurrent, photovoltage, electroluminescence applications, which provides precision voltage and current sourcing and measurement capabilities.

This equipment was funded through the Illinois MRSEC NSF Award Number DMR-2309037. Its use should be acknowledged in any published works, with the wording: “The authors acknowledge the use of facilities and instrumentation at the Materials Research Laboratory Central Research Facilities, University of Illinois, partially supported by NSF through the University of Illinois Materials Research Science and Engineering Center DMR-2309037.” Please also send a copy of the publication (email or hard copy), or the publication information (citation, DOI, or conference name and paper/poster title) to mrl-facilities@illinois.edu.


Senior Research Scientist