Scientists developed micrometer-wide thermometer to record the tiniest of the temperatures, according to a study conducted on May 14, 2018.
This study was conducted by the scientists at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and their collaborators. The newly developed micrometer-wide thermometer is sensitive to the heat generated by optical and electron beams and are capable of measuring small and rapid temperature changes in real time. This new device will be beneficial in exploring heat transport on the micro- and nano-scales, and in optical microscopy and synchrotron radiation experiments.
This technology can be used in photo-thermal cancer treatment as well as in advanced research on crystals and optical light harvesting. Moreover, a miniaturized thermal microscopy system with a nanoscale heat source and detector is essential for the development of next-generation transistors that will be employed in designing new nanoscale devices. A temperature-dependent voltage, which can be interpreted to measure temperature is produced by a thermocouple. This new device consists of a gold and nickel thermocouple on a silicon nitride membrane and the electrodes are only 2.5 μm wide and the membrane is just 30 nm thick.
Researchers created a cross pattern of metal stripes with widths of a few micrometers to produce a thermocouple. Using this technique, a pattern was created on a nano-thin silicon nitride membrane, which enhanced the device sensitivity and enabled it to respond faster. This approach lead to the development of a thermometer that could measure fast and small temperature changes. The requirements of a nanoscale heat source and nanoscale detector necessary for a miniaturized thermal microscopy system was successfully satisfied by the researchers. Therefore, along with the micro-thermocouple detector, a nanoscale thermal microscopy system was achieved, which will help in investigating heat transport behavior on the micro- and nano-scales.