A Review on Principles and Applications of Scanning Thermal Microscopy (SThM)

Yun Zhang, Wenkai Zhu, Fei Hui, Mario Lanza, Theodorian Borca-Tasciuc*, Miguel Muñoz Rojo*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

    110 Citations (Scopus)
    280 Downloads (Pure)


    As the size of materials, particles, and devices shrinks to nanometer, atomic, or even quantum scale, it is more challenging to characterize their thermal properties reliably. Scanning thermal microscopy (SThM) is an emerging method to obtain local thermal information by controlling and monitoring probe–sample thermal exchange processes. In this review, key experimental and theoretical components of the SThM system are discussed, including thermal probes and experimental methods, heat transfer mechanisms, calibration strategies, thermal exchange resistance, and effective heat transfer coefficients. Additionally, recent applications of SThM to novel materials and devices are reviewed, with emphasis on thermoelectric, biological, phase change, and 2D materials.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number1900892
    JournalAdvanced functional materials
    Issue number18
    Early online date2 Sept 2019
    Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2020


    • 2D materials
    • calibration
    • heat transfer
    • micro and nanoscale thermal measurement
    • Scanning thermal microscopy
    • UT-Hybrid-D


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