Analysis of non-contact and contact probe-to-sample thermal exchange for quantitative measurements of thin film and nanostructure thermal conductivity by the scanning hot probe method

Wilson, Adam A.
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Borca-Tasçiuc, Theodorian
Borca-Tasçiuc, Diana-Andra
Chung, Aram
Plawsky, Joel L., 1957-
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Engineering physics
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The ability of the technique to differentiate thin films from the substrate is investigated, and the sensitivity of the technique to thin films and samples with anisotropic properties is explored. The models (both analytical and finite element) developed and reported in this dissertation lead to the ability to measure samples which, by the standard procedure before this work, were unable to be accurately measured. While other techniques failed to be able to successfully interrogate the film thermal conductivity of a full set of double-wall carbon nanotubes infused into polymers, the methods developed in this work allowed non-contact scanning hot probe measurements to be successfully performed to obtain the film thermal conductivity for each sample. Finite element simulations accounting for the anisotropy of these thin film on sample materials show similar trends with independently measured in-plane thermal conductivity for the only two (of five) samples in the set which were successfully able to be measured by the independent technique. Investigations in contact mode with high resolution Pd probes, whose probe-to-sample clearance is difficult to control in a repeatable fashion, show that surface roughness affects the thermal contact resistance. This can lead to values of reported sample thermal conductivity which are misleading, when using the standard calibrated thermal exchange parameters on samples with significantly different surface roughness than the calibration samples. This affect was taken into account to report sample thermal conductivity of Bi2Te3 nanoflakes.
May 2017
School of Engineering
Dept. of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY
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