Punte per Microscopia Termica a Scansione (Scanning Thermal Microscopy - SThM)


Scanning Thermal Microscopy (SThM) is an advanced SPM mode intended for simultaneous obtaining nanoscale thermal and topography images. NT-MDT's SThM kit is able to visualize temperature and thermal conductivity distribution at the sample surface. The SThM system hardware includes electronic controller,

software, and probes.

SThM mode of operation with an AFM requires a specialized probe with a resistor built into the cantilever. NT-MDT's SThM module allows one to monitor the resistance changes correlated with the temperature at the end of the probe. So the system is able to monitor relative changes of sample temperature and thermal

conductivity. NT-MDT's thermal probes provide better than 100 nm lateral resolution for both topography and thermal images.



Sample: Optical Fiber in Epoxy.

Left – topography image,

Right – thermal conductivity image.

Scan size: 6 x 6 um.


The specialized SThM cantilever, made of SiO2 with a thin metal layer, is deposited on the probe in such a way that the highest resistance portion of the layer is concentrated near the tip apex.


Probe base

2 mm x 3 mm

Cantilever (thermal SiO2)

150 um x 60 um x 1 um

Resistor metal

5 nm NiCr - 40 nm Pd

Track and pad metal

5 nm NiCr - 140 nm Au


300-500 Ohm

Tip radius

< 100 nm

Maximum temperature

160 C

Tip height

~ 10 um

SiO2 Spring Constant

0.45 N/m


~ 48 kHz


app. 1 Ohm/ deg C

Series resistors

2 x 100 Ohm ( +/- 25 Ohm)




SThM probe in the cantilever holder

Set of probes