nanoTA2 and SThM

Second Generation Nanoscale Local Thermal Imaging and Analysis

• Three techniques in one platform: nanoTA, HT-AFM, and SThM
• Thermal imaging at nanoscale resolutions
• Excellent correlation with bulk methods
• Compatible with a wide range of commercial AFMs.
• Available as an add-on to nanoIR2 and nanoIR2-s systems


After the point of interest is selected, the probe is moved to the fixed point on the sample surface. The temperature of the tip is then ramped linearly with time, while the degree of bending is monitored. At the point of phase transition, the material beneath the tip softens, and the probe penetrates into the sample.

Nano-Thermal Analysis (nanoTA)

Developed by Anasys Instruments, this award-winning technology uses unique ThermaLever™ probes to locally ramp the sample’s temperature to measure and map thermal transitions and other thermal properties.


Nanoscale thermal analysis of a PS-PMMA blend deposited on glass. A scan (left) shows indents in the surface caused by temperature ramps (right). The data from the PS (red) and PMMA (green) clearly differentiate the two materials. Also shown is data from a thin film of PS on PMMA (blue). showing the initial penetration of the PS followed by the melting of the PMMA.


Scanning Thermal Microscopy (SThM)

Local temperature mapping to 0.1°C at sub-100 nm resolution

High lateral-resolution capability of the SThM technique. The 4µm x 8µm image shown here utilizes the scanning thermal microscopy (SThM) function on a carbon fiber – epoxy composite sample. The height image (top) shows a number of carbon fibers, while the SThM image (bottom) shows the change in probe temperature on the two materials due to their differences in thermal conductivity.

Heated Tip AFM (HT-AFM)

Scanning probe measurements can be performed while heating the probe, allowing for differentiation of phases.

HT-AFM 3 μm x 1.5 μm intermittent contact images of a PS-PP Blend showing topography (top) and phase (bottom) where the probe temperature was changed from room temperature (left) to 160 º C (center) to 230 º C (right). As the temperature is increased, the PS becomes more visible in the phase image as the probe passes the glass transition temperature of the PS. At a higher temperature, the entire surface becomes soft as indicated by the decrease in contrast in the phase image.

High Impact Research

nanoTA2 applications