Experimental investigation on the heat transfer between a heated microcantilever and a substrate

Keunhan Park, Graham L.W. Cross, Zhuomin M. Zhang, William P. King

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This work describes the heat transfer process from a heated microcantilever to a substrate. A platinum-resistance thermometer with a 140 nm width was fabricated on a SiO2-coated silicon substrate. The temperature coefficient of resistance estimated from the measurement was 7 × 10-4 K-1, about one-fifth of the bulk value of platinum. The temperature distribution on the substrate was obtained from the thermometer reading, as the cantilever raster scanned the substrate. Comparison between the measurement and calculation reveals that up to 75% of the cantilever power is directly transferred to the substrate through the air gap. From the force-displacement experiment, the effective tip-specimen contact thermal conductance was estimated to be around 40 nW/K. The findings from this study should help understand the thermal interaction between the heated cantilever and the substrate, which is essential to many nanoscale technologies using heated cantilever.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102401
JournalJournal of Heat Transfer
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2008


  • Atomic force microscope
  • Heated microcantilever
  • Micro-/nanoscale heat transfer
  • Nanoscale thermometer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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