Thermal conductivity imaging at micrometre-scale resolution for combinatorial studies of materials

Scott Huxtable, David G. Cahill, Vincent Fauconnier, Jeffrey O. White, Ji Cheng Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Combinatorial methods offer an efficient approach for the development of new materials. Methods for generating combinatorial samples of materials, and methods for characterizing local composition and structure by electron microprobe analysis and electron-backscatter diffraction are relatively well developed≥1-4. But a key component for combinatorial studies of materials is high-spatial-resolution measurements of the property of interest, for example, the magnetic, optical, electrical5, mechanical 6 or thermal properties of each phase, composition or processing condition. Advances in the experimental methods used for mapping these properties will have a significant impact on materials science and engineering. Here we show how time-domain thermoreflectance can be used to image the thermal conductivity of the cross-section of a Nb-Ti-Cr-Si diffusion multiple, and thereby demonstrate rapid and quantitative measurements of thermal transport properties for combinatorial studies of materials. The lateral spatial resolution of the technique is 3.4 μm, and the time required to measure a 100 × 100 pixel image is ≈1 h. The thermal conductivity of TiCr 2 decreases by a factor of two in crossing from the near-stoichiometric side of the phase to the Ti-rich side; and the conductivity of (Ti,Nb)3Si shows a strong dependence on crystalline orientation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)298-301
Number of pages4
JournalNature Materials
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Thermal conductivity imaging at micrometre-scale resolution for combinatorial studies of materials'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this