Characterizing Thermal and Chemical Properties of Materials at the Nanoscale Using Scanning Probe Microscopy
Keywordsscanning thermal microsocpy
nanoscale thermal microscopy
kelvin probe force microscopy
Committee ChairSarid, Dror
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractCurrent magnetic data storage technology is encountering certain fundamental limitations that present roadblocks to its scalability to areal densities of 1 Tbit/in^2 and beyond. Next generation magnetic storage technology is expected to use optical near field techniques to heat the magnetic film locally to write data bits. This requires experimental measurement of thermal conductivity of materials with sub--100 nm resolution. This is essential for the tailoring of the thin film stack to optimize the heat transfer of the process. This can be accomplished with a simple modification to a traditional atomic force microscopy (AFM) system. The modification requires the deposition of a thin metal film on the AFM cantilever thus creating a bimetallic cantilever. The curvature of a bimetallic cantilever is sensitive to temperature. Another modification is the use of a heating laser to raise the temperature of the cantilever so that when it scans across a sample with areas of varying thermal conductivity the bimetallic deformation of the heated cantilever is altered. The resulting system is sensitive to local variations in thermal conductivity with nanoscale resolution. Nanoscale thermal conductivity measurements can then be used to optimize the heat transfer properties of the materials used in a heat assisted magnetic recording system. AFM technology can also play a key role in the development of next generation solid-state chemical sensors. An AFM can be used to measure the workfunction of a material with near atomic resolution thus enabling the study of chemical reactions with high spatial resolution. Since chemical sensors typically use a chemical reaction at their front end to monitor the prescience of a gas, an AFM system can thus be used to understand and optimize the properties of the chemical reaction by monitoring the local workfunction. In this thesis, I explain the use of atomic force microscopy in measuring thermal and chemical properties of materials with applications towards the magnetic storage industry and chemical sensing.
Degree ProgramOptical Sciences