RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS PHYSICS 1,∗ 2 Li-Dong Zhao and Mercouri G. Kanatzidis Materials with low thermal conductivity This method reported by Nasr Es- mV AFM + SThM analysis are key to achieving high thermoelectric fahani et al. is a valuable advancement performance , which in turn can en- in thermoelectric materials characteriza- able technologies that directly and effi- tion and, if it can be widely adopted, ciently convert heat to electrical energy it will add to the toolbox of charac- and vice versa. In recent breakthrough terization techniques used in searching developments in the field of thermo- for ever-higher-performance thermoelec- electrics, it has been shown that hetero- tric materials. It seems promising as a geneous composite materials with multi- means to accurately measure thermal ple phases on the nano- and microscales conductivity for nanostructuring inter- can achieve very high dimensionless fig- faces, nano-wires and 2D thermoelectric ures of merit (ZT). Therefore, it is of systems. high interest in understanding the ther- mal conductivity not only of the com- 1, ∗ 2 Li-Dong Zhao and Mercouri G. Kanatzidis posite materials, but also of its individual School of Materials Science and Engineering, component phases. Beihang University, China To date, thermal conductivity of ther- Department of Chemistry, Northwestern Microstructure analysis moelectric materials is typically mea- University, USA sured at the macroscopic scale [3,4]. Ef- Corresponding author. Figure 1. Atomic force microscope (AFM) and fective methods to measure local thermal E-mail: email@example.com scanning thermal microscopy (SThM) schemat- conductivity with high spatial resolution ics with thermal conductivity, topography and are not available. Such information is cru- back-scattered electron (BSE) mappings, re- cial to further guide the effective material REFERENCES spectively, from top to bottom. Image courtesy development that could lower their ther- 1. Zhang X and Zhao LD. J Materiomics 2015; 1: 92– of E. Nasr Esfahani, University of Washington. mal conductivities. Nasr Esfahani et al. reported a pow- tion, radiation, convection and contact 2. Tan GJ, Zhao LD and Kanatzidis MG. Chem Rev erful method to directly investigate lo- resistance have been carefully addressed 2016; 116: 12123–49. cal thermal conductivity using scanning by finite element simulations. Using such 3. Zhao LD, Lo S and Zhang YS et al. Nature 2014; thermal microscopy combined with fi- a technique, Nasr Esfahani et al.suc- 508: 373–7. nite element simulations , as schemat- cessfully measured the local thermal con- 4. Zhao LD, Tan GJ and Hao SQ et al. Science 2016; ically shown in Fig. 1. By using a ther- ductivity of a three-phase filled skutteru- 351: 141–4. mal probe with a micro-fabricated heater dite, resolved their variation at the phase 5. Nasr Esfahani E, Ma FY and Wang SY et al. Natl that also serves as a temperature sen- interface and obtained the thermal im- Sci Rev 2018; 5: 59–69. sor, they demonstrated that the resis- age in one-to-one correspondence with tance change of the probe upon touching the microstructural phase compositions. National Science Review the sample can be quantitatively corre- Crosstalk with topography, a common is- 5: 2, 2018 lated with the sample’s local thermal con- sue in scanning thermal microscopy, is doi: 10.1093/nsr/nwx092 ductivity. The effects of thermal conduc- not observed. Advance access publication 11 August 2017 The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of China Science Publishing & Media Ltd. All rights reserved. For permissions, plea se e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Downloaded from https://academic.oup.com/nsr/article-abstract/5/1/2/4081682 by Ed 'DeepDyve' Gillespie user on 16 March 2018 Thermal conductivity Topography BSE
National Science Review – Oxford University Press
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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