An infrared microscope equipped with a 64 × 64 pixel focal plane array detector was tested at the infrared beamline of the ANKA synchrotron facility. In contrast to expectations, it was found that the synchrotron beam could illuminate a usefully large area of the array detector while still delivering many times the intensity of illumination with a standard thermal source. The detector delivered excellent signal/noise ratio with a spatial resolution that would be perfectly adequate for many experiments. We conclude that synchrotron infrared microscopy beamlines should be equipped with focal plane array detectors in order to maintain their advantage with respect to similarly equipped benchtop instrumentation. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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