Previously, we introduced the double scan technique, which enables quantitative temperature profiling with a scanning thermal microscope (SThM) without distortion arising from heat transfer through the air. However, if the tip-sample thermal conductance is disturbed due to the extremely small size of the sample, such as carbon nanotubes, or an abrupt change in the topography, then quantitative measurement becomes difficult even with the double scan technique. Here, we developed the null-point method by which one can quantitatively measure the temperature of a sample without disturbances arising from the tip-sample thermal conductance, based on the principle of the double scan technique. We first checked the effectiveness and accuracy of the null-point method using 5μm and 400 nm wide aluminum lines. Then, we quantitatively measured the temperature of electrically heated multiwall carbon nanotubes using the null-point method. Since the null-point method has an extremely high spatial resolution of SThM and is free from disturbance due to the tip-sample thermal contact resistance, and distortion due to heat transfer through the air, the method is expected to be widely applicable for the thermal characterization of many nanomaterials and nanodevices.
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