Calibrated Sub-Micron Temperature Mapping of an Operating Plasmonic HAMR Device by Thermoreflectance Imaging

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Thermal characterization of nano-featured devices is a critical challenge for the development of high performance devices. Although far-field thermoreflectance imaging is limited in spatial resolution by the optical diffraction limit, it is more amenable to absolute temperature calibration of plasmonic devices than existing near-field scanning probe tip methods. We have built an advanced thermoreflectance microscope capable of 50 ns time-resolved, diffraction-limited temperature imaging that can account and correct for thermal expansion, sample drift, numerical aperture, and polarization induced variations in the apparent thermoreflectance coefficient of nanoscale structures. We developed a per-pixel transient calibration technique using this microscope to measure the absolute temperature of an operating heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) head, including features as narrow as 200 nm. The resulting temperature information can be used to experimentally validate numerical models in the design process of such plasmonic devices.