2019 Volume 17 Pages 102-107
We developed thermocouple probes consisting of constantan and chromel segments with nanoscale sharpness. The ends of wires made of these alloys were polished utilizing a single step drop-off electrochemical procedure in a H3PO4 solution. The macroscopic shapes of the etched wires were designed to detect ultra-small heat inputs with high sensitivity after assembling a thermocouple. After electrochemical treatment, ultimately smooth, mirror-polished wire surfaces were observed. The etched wires were then assembled in a transmission electron microscope (TEM) to create a miniature thermocouple by using which we successfully detected a small temperature increase induced by focused TEM electron beam irradiation. Judging from high-resolution TEM imaging, a thermocouple with the tip-end of only ∼5 nm in diameter was fabricated.