Scanning Thermal Microscopy of suspended graphene

Joint EMPA – IBM Master Project : Scanning Thermal Microscopy of suspended graphene

With the downsizing of electrical components to the nanometer scale, one of the major limitations is the dissipation of the produced heat [1]. Understanding the physical processes governing thermal transport at the atomic scale is therefore key for optimizing device performance and reliability. With its superior thermal properties, graphene is an ideal candidate for heat management applications and represents a model system for thermal transport studies [2]. The aim of this project is to investigate the thermal transport properties of suspended graphene sheets using scanning thermal microscopy [3]. Scanning thermal microscopy allows for sensing of the local temperature with a spatial resolution in the nanometer range. Moreover, the effect of the graphene sha pe and the presence of defects will be investigated. For patterning of graphene sheets, focused ion beam (FIB) milling will be employed [4].In this project, the main task of the student will be sample fabrication and thermal characterization using scanning probes techniques. This will provide the student with the opportunity to gain experience in a broad range of modern nanofabrication & measurement techniques. Furthermore, basic theoretical calculations and/or modeling may be required for corroboration of experimental results.

We are looking for highly motivated students with a strong background in nanoscience, physics, or electrical engineering. We provide state-of-the-art facilities in a cutting-edge research field. This project is a collaboration between the Laboratory for Transport at Nanoscale Interfaces at EMPA and IBM Research - Zürich.

For more information, please contact Dr. Mickael Perrin ( For applications, please send a short motivation (including educational background and exam grades).

Website EMPA
Website IBM Research

1. Pop et al. Energy Dissipation and Transport in Nanoscale Devices, Nano Res. 3, 147-169, 2010
2. Balandin et al. Superior Thermal Conductivity of Single-Layer Graphene, Nano Lett. 8, 902-907, 2008
3. Mosso et al. Heat transport through atomic contacts, Nature Nanotechnology, AOP 2017
4. Celebi et al. Ultimate permeation across atomically thin porous graphene, Science 344, 289-292, 2014

Prof. Dr. Mickael Lucien Perrin

Prof. Dr. Mickael Lucien Perrin
Group Leader Quantum Devices

Deputy Head of Laboratory

Phone: +41 58 765 4610