Correlation of Heat Transport and Shear Forces in Nanoscale Junctions

Robinson, Benjamin and Pumarol, M. E. and Kolosov, O. V. (2015) Correlation of Heat Transport and Shear Forces in Nanoscale Junctions. Nature. ISSN 0028-0836

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Nanoscale solid-solid contacts define a wealth of materials behaviour from the friction in micro- and nanoelectromechanical systems to electrical and thermal conductivity in modern electronic devices. For modern, ultra-high integration processor chips and power electronic devices one of most essential, but thus far most challenging, aspects is the heat transport in nanoscale sized interfaces. Highest spatial resolution to date, achieved via nanoscale probes in scanning thermal microscopy (SThM), is often devalued by the poorly defined nature of the nanoscale contacts. Here we show that simultaneous measurement of shear forces and heat flow between the probe and the studied material elucidates the key parameters of solid-solid contact. Our analysis indicates the intrinsic ballistic nature of heat transport via nanoscale contacts in such a system. Furthermore, in analogy to the Wiedemann-Franz law linking electrical and thermal conductivity in metals, we show that a generalised relation exists linking shear forces and thermal resistance in nanoscale contacts via fundamental material properties such as heat capacity and heat carrier group velocity. These factors, together with the clearly observed anti-correlation of the thermal resistance and shear forces, demonstrate a quantitative approach for the experimental characterisation of thermal transport in nanoscale junctions.

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06 Jan 2016 16:48
Last Modified:
11 Jun 2019 02:56