Scanning Tunneling Thermometer

Case ID:

This invention is a non-contact method for imaging temperature at the sub-nanometer level, with an improved spatial resolution of over two orders of magnitude over existing methods.



Thermal imaging of nanoscale circuits could provide critical information on heat flow and dissipation at the quantum level. However, despite significant technological advances using nanoscale thermocouples or SQUIDs as sensors, thermal imaging has yet to achieve nanometer spatial resolution. Achieving good thermal contact with the sample has necessitated operation in the contact regime or the use of gas as a heat exchange medium, severely limiting spatial resolution.



  • Semiconductor R&D and quality control
  • Precise activation of chemical or biological reactions
  • Thermometry in living cells
  • Heat transport studies


  • Overcomes contact related artifacts
  • Improves spatial resolution over two orders of magnitude

Status: issued U.S. patents #10,830,792 and 11,215,636.

Patent Information:
Contact For More Information:
Jonathan Larson
Senior Licensing Manager, College of Science
The University of Arizona
Lead Inventor(s):
Abhay Shankar Chinivaranahalli Shastry
Charles Stafford