The best spatial resolution so far achieved in thermal imaging is several nanometers, much coarser than routinely achieved for other physical properties. Here we propose a method to map electronic temperature variations in operating nanoscale conductors by relying solely upon electrical tunneling current measurements. The proposed measurement scheme involves two scanning probe operations to measure the conductance and thermopower, respectively. These two measurements are shown to determine the local temperature with high accuracy in nanoscale conductors, where the Wiedemann-Franz law holds quite generally. The proposed scanning tunneling thermometer, owing to its operation in the tunneling regime, would be capable of mapping temperature variations with subnanometer resolution, thereby enhancing the resolution of scanning thermometry by some 2 orders of magnitude.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)