A review on development and optimization of microheaters for high-temperature in situ studies

Ronald Spruit, Tijn van Omme, Murali Ghatkesar, H.H. Pérez Garza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)-based sample carriers became a breakthrough for in situ inspection techniques, especially in transmission electron microscopy where the sample carrier functions as a microsized laboratory and enables dynamic studies on samples, such as nanoparticles, nanowires, lamellas, and 2-D materials. Microheaters allow for in situ manipulation of samples by applying heat stimuli such that sample properties and interactions can be studied in real time at elevated temperatures. However, currently developed microheaters still suffer from undesired effects such as mechanical deflection and limitations in temperature range, accuracy, and homogeneity. This review discusses advancements in the technological development of microheaters. Methods and results found in the literature are categorized to provide an overview of optimization methods for thermoelectromechanical design aspects. The knowledge from various application fields, including a critical reflection on mesoscopic material properties, is combined into a series of design guidelines. These compose instructions for developing and optimizing microheater characteristics, such as mechanical and thermal stress, temperature accuracy and homogeneity, power consumption, response time, and sample drift. Although this review and guide are applicable to many application fields that require a microheater, an emphasis is laid on aspects most relevant to the microheater as a high-temperature sample carrier for in situ experiments
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1165 - 1182
JournalIEEE Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Electron microscopy
  • high-temperature
  • in situ
  • material properties
  • microelectromechanical stems (MEMS)
  • microheater
  • microhotplate
  • sample carrier
  • sample manipulation

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