With the development of scattering-type scanning near-field optical microscopy (s-SNOM)  and Fourier transform infrared nanospectroscopy (nano-FTIR) [2,3], the analytical power of visible, infrared and THz imaging and spectroscopy has been brought to the nanometer scale. The spatial resolution of about 10 - 20 nm opens a new era for modern nano-analytical applications. After a brief overview of fundamentals and applications of s-SNOM and nano-FTIR, recent achievements such as the mapping of plasmons in graphene nanostructures [4,5] will be presented, as well as broadband infrared-spectroscopic analysis of polymers and individual protein complexes [3,6].
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Rainer Hillenbrand is Ikerbasque Research Professor and Nanooptics Group Leader at the nanoscience research center CIC nanoGUNE in San Sebastian, Spain. He is also co-founder of the company Neaspec GmbH (Martinsried, Germany), which develops and manufactures near-field optical microscopes. From 1998 to 2007 he worked at the Max-Planck-Institut fuer Biochemie (Martinsried, Germany), where he led the Nano-Photonics Research Group from 2003 to 2007. He obtained his PhD degree in physics from the Technical University of Munich in 2001. Hillenbrand’s research activities include the development of optical near-field nanoscopy and infrared nanospectroscopy, and its applications in nanophotonics, graphene plasmonics, materials sciences and biology.