Electrical and thermal coupling to a single-wall carbon nanotube device using an electrothermal nanoprobe

Jungchul Lee, Albert Liao, Eric Pop, William P. King

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We utilize a multifunctional atomic force microscope (AFM) cantilever applying highly localized temperature and electric fields to interrogate transport in single-wall carbon nanotube field-effect transistors (CNTFETs). The probe can be operated either in contact with the CNT, in intermittent contact, or as a Kelvin probe, and can independently control the electric field, mechanical force, and temperature applied to the CNT. We modulate current flow in the CNT with tip-applied electric field, and find this field-effect depends upon both cantilever heating and CNT self-heating. CNT transport is also investigated with AFM tip temperature up to 1170 °C. Tip-CNT thermal resistance is estimated at 1.6 × 10 7 K/W and decreases with increasing temperature. Threshold force (<100 nN) for reliable contact mode imaging is extracted and used to determine set points for nanotube manipulation, such as displacement or cutting. The ability to measure thermal coupling to a single-molecule electronic device could offer new insights into nanoelectronic devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1356-1361
Number of pages6
JournalNano letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 8 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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