The thermal flash method was developed to characterize the thermal diffusivity of micro/nanofibers without concern for thermal contact resistance, which is commonly a barrier to accurate thermal measurement of these materials. Within a scanning electron microscope, a micromanipulator supplies instantaneous heating to the micro/nanofiber, and the resulting transient thermal response is detected at a microfabricated silicon sensor. These data are used to determine thermal diffusivity. Glass fibers of diameter 15 mu m had a measured diffusivity of 1.21x10(-7) m(2)/s; polyimide fibers of diameters 570 and 271 nm exhibited diffusivities of 5.97x10(-8) and 6.28x10(-8) m(2)/s, respectively, which compare favorably with bulk values.
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