Nanoscale temperature sensing of electronic devices with calibrated scanning thermal microscopy

Timm Swoboda, Nicolás Wainstein, Sanchit Deshmukh, Çağıl Köroğlu, Xing Gao, Mario Lanza, Hans Hilgenkamp, Eric Pop, Eilam Yalon, Miguel Muñoz Rojo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
10 Downloads (Pure)


Heat dissipation threatens the performance and lifetime of many electronic devices. As the size of devices shrinks to the nanoscale, we require spatially and thermally resolved thermometry to observe their fine thermal features. Scanning thermal microscopy (SThM) has proven to be a versatile measurement tool for characterizing the temperature at the surface of devices with nanoscale resolution. SThM can obtain qualitative thermal maps of a device using an operating principle based on a heat exchange process between a thermo-sensitive probe and the sample surface. However, the quantification of these thermal features is one of the most challenging parts of this technique. Developing reliable calibration approaches for SThM is therefore an essential aspect to accurately determine the temperature at the surface of a sample or device. In this work, we calibrate a thermo-resistive SThM probe using heater-thermometer metal lines with different widths (50 nm to 750 nm), which mimic variable probe-sample thermal exchange processes. The sensitivity of the SThM probe when scanning the metal lines is also evaluated under different probe and line temperatures. Our results reveal that the calibration factor depends on the probe measuring conditions and on the size of the surface heating features. This approach is validated by mapping the temperature profile of a phase change electronic device. Our analysis provides new insights on how to convert the thermo-resistive SThM probe signal to the scanned device temperature more accurately.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7139-7146
Number of pages8
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 23 Mar 2023


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