INSTRUMENTS & SERVICES
TherMap Solutions designs and manufactures thermoreflectance instrumentation for measuring the thermal properties of bulk, layered and composite materials
Thermoreflectance techniques have for decades been utilised within research for thermal characterisation of a wide range of materials, including semiconductors, composites and nuclear fuels.
Whilst thermal characterization of bulk materials is (typically) straightforward using any thermal characterisation technique, thermoreflectance techniques are unique in their ability to measure thin films, coatings and multilayer structures. These structures present a significant challenge, due to depth sensitivity required to determine the properties of separate layers.
The instrumentation produced by TherMap Solutions, possess the lateral resolution required to measure thermal properties (thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity, heat capacity and thermal boundary resistance) of multilayers with thicknesses ranging from tens of nanometres to centimetres, with a high degree accuracy and reliability.
In addition to supplying thermoreflectance instrumentation, TherMap Solutions also provides contract measurements and consultation for all your thermal characterization needs.
Thermoreflectance techniques are based on the phenomenon that the optical reflectance of most surfaces are temperature dependant.
This allows thermal properties, such as thermal conductivity and thermal diffusivity, to be measured by utilising lasers in a pump-probe arrangement.
A powerful 'pump' laser is used to periodically heat a sample, and a less powerful 'probe' laser, reflected off the sample surface, is used to monitor variations the relative reflectivity of the surface as the temperature fluctuates.
Time Domain thermoreflectance (TDTR) utilises fast pump laser pulses which rapidly warm a surface. In between pump pulses, the heat diffuses deeper into the sample, cooling the surface.
The rate of surface temperature decay is dependant on the thermal properties of the surface and underlying substrate.
TDTR is optimised for probing depths of 10nm - 10μm. Making it an ideal technique for thermal characterization of thin films, or multilayered structures of less than 10μm thickness.
Frequency Domain thermoreflectance (FDTR) utilises a modulated pump laser, causing oscillations in the surface temperature, that replicate the pump modulation frequency, albeit with a slight phase delay.
This phase delay between pump laser modulation and surface temperature oscillation is dependant on the thermal properties of the underlying substrate.
As the thermal penetration depth of the pump laser is determined by the modulation frequency used, thermal characterization of multilayers can easily be achieved by iterating through a range of modulation frequencies.
FDTR is suitable for measurement of bulk materials, as well as multilayered structures of greater than 10μm thickness.
TherMap Solutions a spinout company from the
a world-class research group at the University of Bristol headed by Prof. Martin Kuball.
Our team has over 50 years of experience in thermal characterization and heat management.
After several years of refining thermoreflectance techniques for deployment in commercial environments, TherMap Solutions was established through support from the QTEC incubator, Innovate UK and our strategic partner, QFI, in 2019.