Synchrotron-source infrared (IR) spectroscopy offers an effective method to characterise the chemical composition across surfaces. The intense light source allows the detection of trace quantities of different chemical components with a superior signal-to-noise ratio, while the highly collimated light enables high-resolution spatial mapping of the chemical distribution. In this chapter, we introduce synchrotron-source IR spectroscopy, using the infrared microspectroscopy (IRM) beamline at the Australian Synchrotron as an example. We then discuss the use of synchrotron-source IR spectroscopy to analyse insect wings in terms of experimental setup and a summary of the results in two different modes of operation, transmission and attenuated total reflection (ATR). Insect wings possess unique anti-wetting, self-cleaning, anti-biofouling and bactericidal properties and provide inspiration for biomimetic surfaces on synthetic materials which possess similar properties, useful in a range of industries.
Part of the book: Synchrotron Radiation