Thermal characterization technique for thin dielectric films Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/b2774002d

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  • A phase sensitive measurement technique that permits the simultaneous determination of two independent thermal properties of thin dielectric films is presented. Applying the technique results in a film's thermal diffusivity and effusivity, from which the thermal conductivity and specific heat can be calculated. The technique involves measuring a specimen's front surface temperature response to a periodic heating signal. The heating signal is produced by passing current through a thin layer of nichrome that is deposited on the specimen's surface, and the temperature response is measured with a HgCdTe infrared detector operating at 77 K. The signal that is produced by the infrared detector is first conditioned, and then sent to a lock-in amplifier. The lock-in is used to extract the phase shift present between the temperature and heating signal through a frequency range of 500 Hz-20 kHz. The corresponding phase data is fit to an analytical model using thermal diffusivity and effusivity as fitting parameters. The method has been applied effectively to 1.72 μm films of Si0₂ that have been thermally grown on a silicon substrate. Thermal properties have been obtained through a temperature range of 25°C-300°C. One unanticipated outcome stemming from analysis of the experimental data is the ability to extract both the thermal conductivity and specific heat of a thin film from phase information alone, with no need for signal magnitude. This improves the overall utility of the measurement process and provides a 'clean', direct path with fewer assumptions between data and final results. The thermal properties determined so far with this method are consistent with past work on Si0₂ films.
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