A powerful new mid-infrared spectroscopic chemical imaging technique combining step-scan Fourier transform Michelson interferometry with indium antimonide focal-plane array (FPA) image detection is described. The coupling of an infrared focal-plane array detector to an interferometer provides an instrumental multiplex/multichannel advantage. Specifically, the multiple detector elements enable spectra at all pixels to be collected simultaneously, while the interferometer portion of the system allows all the spectral frequencies to be measured concurrently. With this method of mid-infrared spectroscopic imaging, the fidelity of the generated spectral images is limited only by the number of pixels on the FPA detector, and only several seconds of starting time is required for spectral image acquisition. This novel, high-definition technique represents the future of infrared chemical imaging analysis, a new discipline within the chemical and material sciences, which combines the capability of spectroscopy for molecular analysis with the power of visualization. In particular, chemical imaging is broadly applicable for noninvasive, molecular characterization of heterogeneous materials, since all solid-state materials exhibit chemical nonuniformity that exists either by design or by development during the course of material preparation or fabrication. Imaging, employing Raman and infrared spectroscopy, allows the precise characterization of the chemical composition, domain structure, and chemical architecture of a variety of substances. This information is often crucial to a wide range of activities, extending from the fabrication of new materials to a basic understanding of biological samples. In this study, step-scan imaging principles, instrument design details, and infrared chemical imaging results are presented. Since the prospect of performing high-resolution and high-definition mid-infrared chemical imaging very rapidly has been achieved with the step-scan approach, the implications for the chemical analysis of materials are many and varied.