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Mapping thermal conductivity using bimetallic atomic force microscopy probes

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4 Author(s)
Grover, Ranjan ; College of Optical Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721 ; McCarthy, Brendan ; Sarid, Dror ; Guven, I.

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We demonstrate a technique to measure local thermal conductivity of materials using an atomic force microscope equipped with a commercial silicon cantilever coated by a thin metal film. This bimaterial cantilever acts as a bimetallic strip that bends when heated by a focused laser beam. The bending is apparent as a topographic distortion, which varies with the amount of heat flowing from the cantilever’s tip into the sample. By comparing the surface topographies of the sample, as measured with heated and unheated cantilevers, the local thermal conductivity of the tip-sample contact area can be determined. Experimental results with this system are presented and found to be in good agreement with a finite element model.

Published in:

Applied Physics Letters  (Volume:88 ,  Issue: 23 )