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Quantitative Thermal Imaging of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Devices by Scanning Joule Expansion Microscopy

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journal contribution
posted on 27.11.2012, 00:00 by Xu Xie, Kyle L. Grosse, Jizhou Song, Chaofeng Lu, Simon Dunham, Frank Du, Ahmad E. Islam, Yuhang Li, Yihui Zhang, Eric Pop, Yonggang Huang, William P. King, John A. Rogers
Electrical generation of heat in single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) and subsequent thermal transport into the surroundings can critically affect the design, operation, and reliability of electronic and optoelectronic devices based on these materials. Here we investigate such heat generation and transport characteristics in perfectly aligned, horizontal arrays of SWNTs integrated into transistor structures. We present quantitative assessments of local thermometry at individual SWNTs in these arrays, evaluated using scanning Joule expansion microscopy. Measurements at different applied voltages reveal electronic behaviors, including metallic and semiconducting responses, spatial variations in diameter or chirality, and localized defect sites. Analytical models, validated by measurements performed on different device structures at various conditions, enable accurate, quantitative extraction of temperature distributions at the level of individual SWNTs. Using current equipment, the spatial resolution and temperature precision are as good as ∼100 nm and ∼0.7 K, respectively.

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