Sign up ×
Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics. It's 100% free.

I am looking for a system capable of creating a gradient of $100\, \mathrm{K}/\mathrm{\mu \textrm{m}}$ on a $30\, \mathrm{\mu}\textrm{m}$ spacing of a system mounted on a Si-N membrane. My so-called nanoheater is not up to the task.

share|cite|improve this question
Ahh... I was hoping this was a vague informal question. Having recently toured a toroidal fusion reactor, I can tell you where to find a $100K/\mu m$+ temperature gradient! – NeuroFuzzy Jun 21 '13 at 22:16

2 Answers 2

Laser ablation in metals achieves temperatures on the order of 100000K while the skin depth is O(nanometers). I think this adheres to the letter of your question, if not quit the text below. :-)

share|cite|improve this answer

I think that we need to know more about your system. Very large gradients are possible over very short times and distances: you just heat the system up a lot locally with e.g. a laser. If large thermal gradients are to exist over large areas and long times, you need some way to get rid of the heat that is conducted across / down the gradient. This will put reasonably severe limits on the time and "sideways" dimensions of the region over which there is a large thermal gradient, as a fraction of the average absolute temperature at which the sample is held.

share|cite|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.