This article investigates the electrothermal properties and responses of a doped silicon microcantilever under periodic (ac) Joule heating. To this end, a numerical model using a finite element analysis (FEA) was implemented to compute the steady periodic solutions in the frequency domain. The FEA results agree well with the cantilever ac behavior that was not possible with a previous 1-D analysis. Based on the acquired ac characteristics of the heated cantilever, its feasibility as a probe for nanoscale property measurement was studied by comparing the 3ω voltage signals before and after sampling 449 fg of polyethylene directly on the cantilever. The 3ω signal of the sampled cantilever is considerably different from that of the bare cantilever, suggesting that sample properties can be determined using the processes discussed here. The heater size effect on the ac behavior of the cantilever was also investigated, confirming that the high frequency region is closely related with the thermal diffusion at the heater. The obtained results willexpand the characterization and functionality of microcantilevers leading to advancements in localized thermal analysis.

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