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The continuous shrinking of transistors in VLSI circuits requires thermometry with high spatial, temporal and thermal resolution. Thin film thermocouple sensors have the potential to achieve small sensing volumes and junction areas. Gold/nickel thin film thermocouples with minimum junction size of (100 nm)/sup 2/ have been fabricated and characterized. While the smaller sensors improve spatial and temporal resolution, the data show reductions in the Seebeck coefficient (temperature sensitivity) and a larger influence of noise. These thin film thermocouples are used to determine the temperature profile of solid-state structures subjected to laser and electron beam irradiation.