TFA – Thin Film Analyzer

Physical properties measurement of thin films


On point

Exciting New Opportunities in Thin Film Characterization

Introducing a revolutionary thin film characterization system with exceptional physical properties, the LINSEIS Thin Film Analyzer (TFA). This highly integrated and user-friendly measurement platform opens new frontiers in the analysis of thin films, offering remarkable capabilities.

Thin films possess distinct physical properties that differ from bulk materials due to their smaller dimensions and high aspect ratios, resulting in pronounced surface effects. The LINSEIS Thin Film Analyzer is designed to address these challenges, considering factors like:

  • Increasing Influence of Surface Scattering: Surface effects become increasingly influential in thin films, impacting their behavior and characteristics.
  • Additional Boundary Scattering: Thin films encounter additional boundary scattering phenomena, further shaping their properties.
  • Quantum Confinement for Very Thin Layers: In extremely thin layers, quantum confinement plays a significant role, affecting material behavior at the nanoscale

Key Features of the TFA:

  • Easy-to-Use, Standalone System: The LINSEIS Thin Film Analyzer offers a user-friendly, standalone solution for characterizing a wide range of thin film samples quickly and conveniently.
  • Patent-Pending Measurement Design: The system utilizes a patent-pending measurement design, ensuring high-quality results and accuracy.

Components of the TFA:

The fundamental setup comprises a measurement chip for depositing the sample and a measurement chamber that provides the necessary environmental conditions. Depending on the specific application, the system can be used in conjunction with a Lock-In amplifier and/or a powerful electric magnet. Measurements are typically conducted under ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) conditions, with the sample’s temperature controllable between -170°C and 280°C using liquid nitrogen (LN2) and robust heaters.

Pre-Structured Measuring Chips

The chip combines the 3 Omega measurement technique for thermal conductivity with a 4-point Van-der-Pauw setup for determining electrical transport properties. Additional resistance thermometers near the Van-der-Pauw electrodes enable the measurement of the Seebeck coefficient. Sample preparation is made easy through the use of a strip-off foil mask or a metal shadow mask.

This configuration enables the nearly simultaneous characterization of samples prepared by various methods, including physical vapor deposition (PVD), chemical vapor deposition (CVD), spin coating, drop casting, or inkjet printing, all in one comprehensive step. The LINSEIS Thin Film Analyzer empowers researchers and engineers to explore and understand the intricacies of thin film materials with unmatched efficiency and precision.

Broad range of physical properties within one measurement run

The significant advantage of this system lies in its ability to simultaneously determine a wide range of physical properties in a single measurement run. All measurements are performed in the same in-plane direction, ensuring high comparability and accuracy.

1. Van-der-Pauw Measurement:

To assess the electrical conductivity (σ) and Hall coefficient (AH) of the sample, the Van-der-Pauw method is employed. Once the sample is deposited on the chip, it is already connected to four electrodes labeled A, B, C, and D at their edges. In this measurement, a current is applied between two of the contacts, and the corresponding voltage between the remaining two is measured. By systematically changing the contact configuration and repeating the procedure, the resistivity of the sample can be determined using the Van-der-Pauw equation. By introducing a magnetic field and measuring the associated change in the diagonal Van-der-Pauw resistance, the Hall coefficient of the sample can be computed.

2. Seebeck Coefficient Measurement:

For assessing the Seebeck Coefficient, an additional thermometer and heater are placed on the chip near the sample. This setup enables the measurement of the thermovoltage at different temperature gradients, which can be utilized to calculate the Seebeck Coefficient (S) using the formula S = -Vth/∆T.

Thin Film Thermal Conductivity Measurement:

To determine the in-plane thermal conductivity, a patent-pending hot-stripe suspended membrane configuration is employed. In this setup, a tiny wire serves as both a heater and a temperature sensor. The sample of interest is directly deposited onto this membrane. During the measurement, a current is applied to the hot wire, causing it to heat up due to Joule heating. As the wire’s temperature rises, its resistivity changes and can be easily measured. This resistivity change, combined with knowledge of the precise setup geometry, enables the calculation of the sample’s thermal conductivity. Depending on the sample type, it may also be possible to measure emissivity and specific heat. For optimal results, the product of the sample’s thickness and thermal conductivity should equal or exceed 2 x 10^-7 W/K.

Modular design

Commencing with a fundamental setup for thermal conductivity measurements, our system offers easy upgradability. Users can enhance the system’s capabilities with either the thermoelectric kit to assess electrical conductivity and the Seebeck coefficient, or opt for the magnetic upgrade kit to conduct measurements of the Hall constant, mobility, and charge carrier concentration. This flexibility empowers researchers to tailor their experimental setup to their specific needs and explore a broader range of material properties.

System configurations

Basic System / Thermoelectric Package / Magnetic Package / Cooling Option

Here’s a rephrased description of the available packaging options for the LINSEIS Thin Film Analyzer (TFA):

1. Basic Device (Including Transient Package):

This package includes the essential components such as the measurement chamber, vacuum pump, a basic sample holder with an integrated heater, a system-integrated lock-in amplifier for the 3ω-method, a PC, and the LINSEIS Software package featuring measurement and evaluation software. The design is optimized for measuring the following physical properties:

  •    λ – Thermal Conductivity
  •    cp – Specific Heat

2. Thermoelectric Package:

This package encompasses extended measurement electronics (DC) and evaluation software tailored for thermoelectric experiments. It’s designed for measuring the following parameters:

  •    ρ – Electrical Resistivity / σ – Electrical Conductivity
  •    S – Seebeck Coefficient

3. Magnetic Package:

The magnetic package offers two configurations. One option includes a movable electromagnet (EM) complete with a power supply, field switch, safety circuit, and water cooling. The alternative choice features a movable setup with two permanent magnets (PM). The electromagnet allows users to apply a variable field strength between +/- 1 Tesla perpendicular to the sample, while the permanent magnet setup can apply three defined field points (+0.5 T, 0 T, and -0.5 T) to the sample. Both designs are optimized for measuring the following parameters:

  •    AH – Hall Constant
  •    μ – Mobility (calculation dependent on the model)
  •    n – Charge carrier concentration (calculation dependent on the model)

4. Low Temperature Option for Controlled Cooling

This option provides controlled cooling solutions, including:

  •    LN2 cooling down to 100 K
  •    TFA/KREG controlled cooling unit
  •    TFA/KRYO Dewar 25l

These options cater to a range of experimental needs, enabling users to customize their setup and explore diverse material properties with the LINSEIS Thin Film Analyzer.


Key System Features:

  1. Advanced Thin Film Characterization: A top-notch system designed for characterizing thin films within the nanometer to micrometer range.
  2. Temperature-Dependent Measurements: Capable of conducting measurements across a wide temperature spectrum, ranging from -170°C to +280°C.
  3. User-Friendly Sample Handling: Simplified sample preparation and handling procedures for enhanced ease of use.
  4. Chip-Based Measurement Device: Utilizes specialized measurement chips as consumables, streamlining the measurement process.
  5. Versatile Measurement Flexibility: Offers high flexibility in parameters such as sample thickness, sample resistivity, and deposition methods.
  6. Comprehensive Single-Run Measurements: All required measurements are performed on the same sample in a single run, improving efficiency and reducing the need for multiple tests.
  7. Diverse Material Compatibility: Accommodates a wide range of materials, including semiconductors, metals, ceramics, and organic substances, allowing for extensive characterization possibilities.
Modell TFA  –  Thin Film Analyzer*
Temperature range:  RT up to 280°C
-170°C up to 280°C
Sample thickness: From 5 nm to 25 µm (range depends on sample)
Measurement principle: Chip based (pre-structured measurement chips, 24 pcs. per box)
Deposition techniques: Include: PVD (sputtering, evaporation), ALD, Spin coating, Ink-Jet Printing and more
Measured parameters: Thermal Conductivity (3 Omega)
Specific Heat
Optional: Electrical Conductivity / Resistivity
Seebeck Coefficient
Hall Constant / Mobility / Charge carrier conc.
Electromagnet up to 1 T or permanent magnet up to 0.5 T
Vacuum: up to 10-4mbar
Electronics: Integrated
Interface: USB
Measurement range
Thermal Conductivity: 0.05 up to 200 W/m∙K
3 Omega Method, Hot Strip Technique (in-plane measurement)
Electrical Resistivity: 0.05 up to 1∙106 S/cm
Van-der-Pauw Four probe measurement
Seebeck Coefficient: 5 up to 2500 μV/K
Thermal Conductivity: ± 7% (for most materials)
Electrical Resistivity: ± 3% (for most materials)
Seebeck Coefficient: ± 5% (for most materials)
Thermal Conductivity: ± 10% (for most materials)
Electrical Resistivity: ± 6% (for most materials)
Seebeck Coefficient: ± 7% (for most materials)

You are interested in a TFA?

You need more information?

Contact our application expert!


Basic System / Thermoelectric Package / Magnetic Package / Cooling Option

In addition to the hardware components, our system is powered by the robust Microsoft® Windows®-based LINSEIS thermal analysis software, which plays a pivotal role in the preparation, execution, and evaluation of thermoanalytical experiments. This software package, developed by our in-house team of software specialists and application experts, offers a comprehensive solution for programming device-specific settings, control functions, data storage, and analysis. Over the years, it has been extensively tested and refined to meet the highest standards.

The TFA software package comprises two essential modules: a measurement program for data acquisition and an evaluation software with pre-defined plugins for data analysis. The Linseis software encompasses all the critical features for seamless experiment preparation, execution, and thorough evaluation.

General Features:

  1. Fully Compatible MS® Windows™ Software: The software is fully compatible with the Microsoft® Windows™ operating system, ensuring ease of use and familiarity.
  2. Data Security in Case of Power Failure: Measures are in place to protect data in case of unexpected power interruptions or failures.
  3. Automatic Control of Sample Contacts: The software automates the control of sample contacts, enhancing the reliability and reproducibility of experiments.
  4. Thermocouple Break Protection: Safeguards are integrated to protect against thermocouple breakages, which could impact data integrity.
  5. Evaluation of Current Measurements: The software includes tools for real-time evaluation of ongoing measurements.
  6. Curve Comparison: Allows for easy comparison of multiple curves, aiding in data interpretation and trend analysis.
  7. Storage and Export of Evaluations: Users can store and export evaluations for documentation and reporting purposes.
  8. Export and Import of Data in ASCII Format: The software enables the export and import of data in ASCII format for compatibility with other software and systems.
  9. Data Export to MS Excel: Data can be seamlessly exported to Microsoft Excel for further analysis and reporting.
  10. Easy Data Export (CTRL C):The software simplifies data export using keyboard shortcuts for efficiency.
  11. Database for Archiving: A comprehensive database feature is available for archiving all measurements and evaluations.
  12. Online Help Menu: Users can access an online help menu for assistance and guidance.
  13. Statistical Curve Evaluation: Advanced tools for statistical curve evaluation are provided.
  14. Zoom Option for Curve Analysis: The software offers a zoom option for in-depth curve analysis.
  15. Integrated Evaluation Plugins: Pre-defined plugins for data analysis and evaluation are integrated, enhancing the software’s functionality.

The software allows for the simultaneous loading and comparison of multiple curves, making it a valuable tool for comprehensive data analysis and experimentation.

Measurement Software:

Our measurement software is designed to provide a straightforward and user-friendly experience for entering temperature segments and specifying measurement tasks. It automatically displays real-time measured raw data and supports fully automated measurements, ensuring efficiency and accuracy in your experiments.

Evaluation Software:

The evaluation software offers pre-defined evaluation plugins based on established models, simplifying the analysis process. Alternatively, users have the option of direct access to the raw data for in-depth assessment. This software enables the direct evaluation of measured data for the calculation of various properties, including thermal conductivity, specific heat, resistivity/conductivity, and the Seebeck coefficient. It also facilitates effortless data plotting and export for comprehensive data analysis and reporting.


TFA – Thermal conductivity and resistivity of a metallic nanofilm (100 nm Gold)
TFA – Characterization of an organic semiconductor (Drop casted PEDOT:PSS)
TFA – Characterization of a thermoelectric thin film (142 nm PVD Bi87Sb13)



TFA Product Brochure (PDF)

LSR, LZT, LFA, TF-LFA, TFA, Hall-Effect Product Brochure (PDF)

Scroll to Top