We demonstrate the imaging of buried features in a microstructure—a tiny hole in an aluminum thin film covered by a chromium layer—with nanometer lateral resolution using a transient temperature distribution restricted to within ~0.5 µm of the sample surface. This is achieved by mapping photothermally induced megahertz surface vibrations in an atomic force microscope. Local thermal probing with megahertz-frequency thermal waves is thus shown to be a viable method for imaging subsurface thermal features at submicron depths. ©2003 American Institute of Physics.
Copyright 2003 American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics. The following article appeared in Applied Physics Letters, 82 (4), 2003 and may be found athttp://link.aip.org/link/?APPLAB/82/622/1 Pioneering report on combination of scanned probe microscopy and optically excited phonons at MHz frequencies - opened the way for nanoscale subsurface thermal imaging, RAE_import_type : Journal article RAE_uoa_type : Physics