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Nanokelvin-resolution thermometry with a photonic microscale sensor at room temperature


Ultrahigh-resolution thermometry is critical for future advances in bio-calorimetry1,2, sensitive bolometry for sensing3 and imaging4, as well as for probing dissipation in a range of electronic5, optoelectronic6 and quantum devices7. In spite of recent advances in the field8,9,10,11, achieving high-resolution measurements from microscale devices at room temperature remains an outstanding challenge. Here, we present a band-edge microthermometer that achieves this goal by relying on the strong, temperature-dependent optical properties of GaAs at its absorption edge12,13,14. Specifically, using a suspended asymmetric Fabry–Pérot resonator and a wavelength-stabilized probe laser we demonstrate a thermoreflectance coefficient of >30 K−1, enabling measurements with a thermometry noise floor of ~60 nK Hz−1/2 and a temperature resolution of <100 nK in a bandwidth of 0.1 Hz. The advances presented here are expected to enable a broad range of studies and applications in calorimetry and bolometry where miniaturized high-resolution thermometers are required.

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Fig. 1: Device structure and experimental setup.
Fig. 2: Thermoreflectance coefficient of the BET.
Fig. 3: Characterization of thermometry resolution.
Fig. 4: Noise floor of the BET.

Data availability

Source data are provided with this paper.

Code availability

The custom scattering-matrix code used in this paper is available from the corresponding authors upon reasonable request.


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We acknowledge support from DOE-BES through a grant from the Scanning Probe Microscopy Division under award No. DESC0004871 (Experiments and Analysis) and support from the Army Research Office under award No. W911NF-19-1-0279 (fabrication of devices).

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Authors and Affiliations



A.R., E.M. and P.R. conceived the work. A.R. fabricated the devices and performed the experiments and calculations under the supervision of E.M. and P.R. The manuscript was written by A.R., E.M. and P.R.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Edgar Meyhofer or Pramod Reddy.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Nature Photonics thanks Sheng Shen and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

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Supplementary information

Supplementary Information

Supplementary Figs. 1–6 and Sections 1–8.

Source data

Source Data Fig. 2

Experimental and modelling data for Fig. 2a–d in an Excel sheet and Matlab codes for generating Fig. 2a–d from the data.

Source Data Fig. 3

Experimental data for Fig. 3a–d in an Excel sheet and Matlab codes to generate the figures from the data.

Source Data Fig. 4

Experimental data and estimated noise corresponding to Fig. 4a is provided in an Excel sheet along with Matlab code to generate Fig. 4a.

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Reihani, A., Meyhofer, E. & Reddy, P. Nanokelvin-resolution thermometry with a photonic microscale sensor at room temperature. Nat. Photon. 16, 422–427 (2022).

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