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Towards on-chip time-resolved thermal mapping with micro-/nanosensor arrays

Haixiao Liu1234, Weiqiang Sun12, An Xiang123, Tuanwei Shi12, Qing Chen12 and Shengyong Xu12*

Author Affiliations

1 Key Laboratory for the Physics and Chemistry of Nanodevices, Peking University, Beijing, 100871, China

2 Department of Electronics, Peking University, Beijing, 100871, China

3 Academy for Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies, Peking University, Beijing, 100871, China

4 National Center for Nanoscience and Technology, Beijing, 100190, China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2012, 7:484  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-484

Published: 29 August 2012


In recent years, thin-film thermocouple (TFTC) array emerged as a versatile candidate in micro-/nanoscale local temperature sensing for its high resolution, passive working mode, and easy fabrication. However, some key issues need to be taken into consideration before real instrumentation and industrial applications of TFTC array. In this work, we will demonstrate that TFTC array can be highly scalable from micrometers to nanometers and that there are potential applications of TFTC array in integrated circuits, including time-resolvable two-dimensional thermal mapping and tracing the heat source of a device. Some potential problems and relevant solutions from a view of industrial applications will be discussed in terms of material selection, multiplexer reading, pattern designing, and cold-junction compensation. We show that the TFTC array is a powerful tool for research fields such as chip thermal management, lab-on-a-chip, and other novel electrical, optical, or thermal devices.

Real-time thermal mapping; Sensor array; Thin-film thermocouple; Nanoscale thermometry; On-chip hot spot detection