A hot-wire probe for thermal measurements of nanowires and nanotubes inside a transmission electron microscope

Dames, C.; Chen, S.; Harris, C. T.; Huang, J. Y.; Ren, Z. F.; Dresselhaus, M. S.; Chen, G.
October 2007
Review of Scientific Instruments;Oct2007, Vol. 78 Issue 10, p104903
Academic Journal
A hot wire probe has been developed for use inside a transmission electron microscope to measure the thermal resistance of individual nanowires, nanotubes, and their contacts. No microfabrication is involved. The probe is made from a platinum Wollaston wire and is pretensioned to minimize the effects of thermal expansion, intrinsic thermal vibrations, and Lorentz forces. An in situ nanomanipulator is used to select a particular nanowire or nanotube for measurement, and contacts are made with liquid metal droplets or by electron-beam induced deposition. Detailed thermal analysis shows that for best sensitivity, the thermal resistance of the hot-wire probe should be four times that of the sample, but a mismatch of more than two orders of magnitude may be acceptable. Data analysis using the ratio of two ac signals reduces the experimental uncertainty. The range of detectable sample thermal resistances spans from approximately 103 to 109 K/W. The probe can also be adapted for measurements of the electrical conductance and Seebeck coefficient of the same sample. The probe was used to study a multiwalled carbon nanotube with liquid Ga contacts. The measured thermal resistance of 3.3×107 K/W had a noise level of approximately ±3% and was repeatable to within ±10% upon breaking and re-making the contact.


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