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Published October 2005 | public
Journal Article

Nanoscale, Phonon-Coupled Calorimetry with Sub-Attojoule/Kelvin Resolution


We have developed an ultrasensitive nanoscale calorimeter that enables heat capacity measurements upon minute, externally affixed (phonon-coupled) samples at low temperatures. For a 5 s measurement at 2 K, we demonstrate an unprecedented resolution of ΔC ~ 0.5 aJ/K (~36 000 k_B). This sensitivity is sufficient to enable heat capacity measurements upon zeptomole-scale samples or upon adsorbates with sub-monolayer coverage across the minute cross sections of these devices. We describe the fabrication and operation of these devices and demonstrate their sensitivity by measuring an adsorbed ^4He film with optimum resolution of ~3 × 10^(-5) monolayers upon an active surface area of only ~1.2 × 10^(-9) m^2.

Additional Information

© 2005 American Chemical Society. Received July 14, 2005; Revised Manuscript Received August 5, 2005. Publication Date (Web): September 7, 2005. We gratefully acknowledge support for this work from the NSF through Grant DMR-0102886.

Additional details

August 19, 2023
October 19, 2023