Journal of Materials Research


Combinatorial nanocalorimetry

Patrick J. McCluskeya1 and Joost J. Vlassaka1 c1

a1 School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138


The parallel nano-scanning calorimeter (PnSC) is a silicon-based micromachined device for calorimetric measurement of nanoscale materials in a high-throughput methodology. The device contains an array of nanocalorimeters. Each nanocalorimeter consists of a silicon nitride membrane and a tungsten heating element that also serves as a temperature gauge. The small mass of the individual nanocalorimeters enables measurements on samples as small as a few hundred nanograms at heating rates up to 104 K/s. The sensitivity of the device is demonstrated through the analysis of the melting transformation of a 25-nm indium film. To demonstrate the combinatorial capabilities, the device is used to analyze a Ni–Ti–Zr sample library. The as-deposited amorphous samples are crystallized by local heating in a process that lasts just tens of milliseconds. The martensite–austenite transformation in the Ni–Ti–Zr shape memory alloy system is analyzed and the dependence of transformation temperature and specific heat on composition is revealed.

(Received April 28 2010)

(Accepted June 23 2010)

Key Words:

  • Combinatorial synthesis;
  • Calorimetry;
  • Nanoscale


c1 Address all correspondence to this author. e-mail: