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International Heat Transfer Conference 16

ISSN: 2377-424X (online)
ISSN: 2377-4371 (flashdrive)


Yuanyuan Zhou
Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78712, USA

Jaehyun Kim
Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78712, USA

Li Shi
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA

DOI: 10.1615/IHTC16.tpm.023669
pages 8758-8766

KEY WORDS: Thermal Conductivity, Thermal Contact Resistance, Heat Conduction, Mesoscale, Measurements


A number of thermal transport measurement methods have been reported for bulk materials and nanostructures. However, challenges have remained for measuring the thermal conductivity of mesoscale structures with the dimension in the range between 1 μm and 1 mm. A recently reported four-probe thermal transport measurement method for nanostructures can separately obtain the intrinsic thermal resistance and the contact thermal resistance. This paper reports an investigation of the applicability of this method for mesoscale samples. Mesoscale four-probe measurement devices have been designed, fabricated and calibrated with a SiNx beam sample. Multiple error sources have been evaluated. The measurement errors caused by radiation heat loss are analyzed for different device designs and sample dimension and properties. The analysis shows that the systematic errors can be reduced to be well within 10% by matching the device design with the sample dimension and properties even for mesoscale samples. The measured thermal conductivity of silicon nitride 3.7-3.8 W m-1 K-1 at room temperature, is in agreement with the literature values. These results demonstrate that the mesoscale four-probe thermal transport measurement device can obtain both the contact thermal resistance and intrinsic thermal resistance of mesoscale structures with acceptable errors, which are mainly caused by increasing radiation heat loss from the sample with increasing length and width.

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