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High throughput nanoimaging of thermal conductivity and interfacial thermal conductance



Mingkang Wang, Georg Ramer, Diego Perez, Georges Pavlidis, Jeffrey Schwartz, Liya Yu, Robert Ilic, Vladimir Aksyuk, Andrea Centrone


Thermal properties of materials are often determined by measuring thermalization processes. Measuring such properties at the nanoscale, however, requires high sensitivity, high temporal, and high spatial resolutions concurrently, which is beyond the current state of the art. Here, we develop an optomechanical cantilever probe and customize an atomic force microscope (AFM) to measure sample thermalization dynamics with ≈ 10 ns temporal resolution, ≈ 35 nm spatial resolution, and high sensitivity thanks to a very low detection noise ≈ 1 fm/Hz1/2 over a wide (> 100 MHz) bandwidth. This setup enables fast nanoimaging of thermal conductivity (η) and interfacial thermal conductance (G) with very high throughputs thanks to a datapoint acquisition rate that is 500 000 × faster than measurements with conventional AFM cantilevers and ≈6000 × faster compared to art macroscale-resolution time-domain thermoreflectance measurements. As a proof-of-principle demonstration, 100 × 100 pixel maps of η and G are obtained in 200 s with a small relative uncertainty (∆η ≈ 10 % and ∆G ≈ 10 %) on a ≈ 3 µm wide polymer particle with thickness up to 220 nm. This work paves the way to study fast thermal dynamics in materials and devices at the nanoscale.
Nano Letters


PTIR, thermal conductivity, thermal dynamics, AFM, MEMS


Wang, M. , Ramer, G. , Perez, D. , Pavlidis, G. , Schwartz, J. , Yu, L. , Ilic, R. , Aksyuk, V. and Centrone, A. (2022), High throughput nanoimaging of thermal conductivity and interfacial thermal conductance, Nano Letters, [online],, (Accessed July 22, 2024)


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Created May 17, 2022, Updated November 29, 2022