Hot spot dynamics in carbon nanotube array devices

Michael Engel, Mathias Steiner*, Jung Woo T. Seo, Mark C. Hersam, Phaedon Avouris

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We report on the dynamics of spatial temperature distributions in aligned semiconducting carbon nanotube array devices with submicrometer channel lengths. By using high-resolution optical microscopy in combination with electrical transport measurements, we observe under steady state bias conditions the emergence of time-variable, local temperature maxima with dimensions below 300 nm, and temperatures above 400 K. On the basis of time domain cross-correlation analysis, we investigate how the intensity fluctuations of the thermal radiation patterns are correlated with the overall device current. The analysis reveals the interdependence of electrical current fluctuations and time-variable hot spot formation that limits the overall device performance and, ultimately, may cause device degradation. The findings have implications for the future development of carbon nanotube-based technologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2127-2131
Number of pages5
JournalNano letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 11 2015


  • Carbon nanotubes
  • nanoelectronics
  • nanooptics
  • power dissipation
  • thermal imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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