We have developed a microcantilever-based technique for measurement of heat conduction through individual nanowires. We fabricated silicon nitride cantilevers with nominal dimensions of length 100 μm, width 2–6 μm, and thickness 130 nm. Cantilever chips are designed with multiple cantilevers spaced at varying distances. With a reflective aluminum coating of optimized thickness, these bimaterial cantilevers can be used as ultrasensitive thermal sensors capable of measuring very small heat flux through a nanostructure fixed between two cantilevers. The ultrasensitive bimaterial cantilevers designed in this work are not limited to heat conduction measurements, but will also be useful for measuring near-field radiative heat transfer between a sphere, attached to the tip of the cantilever, and a flat plate.

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