In-plane thermal conductivity measurement with nanosecond grating imaging tehchnique


J. Jeong, Chen, K., Walker, E. S., Roy, N., He, F., Liu, P., Willson, G. C., Cullinan, M., Bank, S. R., and Wang, Y., “In-plane thermal conductivity measurement with nanosecond grating imaging tehchnique,” Nanoscale and Microscale Thermophyical Engineering, In Press, 2018.


We develop a nanosecond grating imaging (NGI) technique to measure in-plane thermal transport properties in bulk and thin-film samples. Based on nanosecond time-domain thermoreflectance (ns-TDTR), NGI incorporates a photomask with periodic metal strips patterned on a transparent dielectric substrate to generate grating images of pump and probe lasers on the sample surface, which induces heat conduction along both cross- and in-plane directions. Analytical and numerical models have been developed to extract thermal conductivities in both bulk and thin-film samples from NGI measurements. This newly developed technique is used to determine thickness-dependent in-plane thermal conductivities (κx) in Cu nano-films, which agree well with the electron thermal conductivity values converted from four-point electrical conductivity measurements using the Wiedemamn–Franz law, as well as previously reported experimental values. The κx measured with NGI in an 8 nm x 8 nm GaAs/AlAs superlattice (SL) is about 10.2 W/m⋅K, larger than the cross-plane thermal conductivity (8.8 W/m⋅K), indicating the anisotropic thermal transport in the SL structure. The uncertainty of the measured κx is about 25% in the Cu film and less than 5% in SL. Sensitivity analysis suggests that, with the careful selection of proper substrate and interface resistance, the uncertainty of κx in Cu nano-films can be as low as 5%, showing the potential of the NGI technique to determine κx in thin films with improved accuracy. By simply installing a photomask into ns-TDTR, NGI provides a convenient, fast, and cost-effective method to measure the in-plane thermal conductivities in a wide range of structures and materials.


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