We present a method for nanoscale thermal imaging of insulating thin films using atomic force microscopy (AFM), and we demonstrate its utility on VO2. We sweep the applied voltage V to a conducting AFM tip in contact mode and measure the local current I through the film. By fitting the IV curves to a Poole-Frenkel conduction model at low V, we calculate the local temperature with spatial resolution better than 50 nm using only fundamental constants and known film properties. Our thermometry technique enables local temperature measurement of any insulating film dominated by the Poole-Frenkel conduction mechanism and can be extended to insulators that display other conduction mechanisms.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)