Latest Release

7.5.15 (Released 2022-07-28)

Hardware Requirements

  • PC with USB port and operating system Microsoft Windows 7 or later.
  • Hot Disk instrument from year 2006 or later – specified by the first four digits in your instrument serial number.

If you are using an older version of the Desktop App, please feel free to request an update without charge via our Support Inquiries Form, or email to Mr. Anders Isacson (software@hotdisk.se). Make sure to include your affiliation and the serial number of your Hot Disk instrument (found in the test protocol and on the back side of the instrument).

Software Design and Features

Release 7.5

Once installed on a PC, the Hot Disk Desktop App is started from the Windows Start menu or via shortcut on the desktop. The Main Window of the Hot Disk Desktop App gives access to other windows and dialog boxes for the execution or scheduling of measurements, set-up of automated measurements at different ambient temperatures via auxiliary Temperature Control Units (TCUs), introduction of sensor shift schemes by auxiliary Hot Disk Sensor Switch Units, reviewing and processing of measurement data, performing basic statistical analysis, and exporting measurement data to xlsx- or txt-files. Also available in the Main Window are support functions, including access to digital copies of instruction manuals, guidelines in troubleshooting, and contact information to the Hot Disk support team.

Main Window of the Hot Disk Desktop App.

A new experiment is started via the Experiment Type Dialog Box, where the Hot Disk instrument model and what experiment type is to be conducted is specified. The enabled experimental types depend on the Measurement Module configuration, i.e. what add-on Measurement Modules (Single-Sided, Anisotropic, Slab, One-Dimensional, Thin film etc.) that are licensed with the customized Hot Disk instrument in question.

Experiment Type Dialog Box.

The settings of the measurement are thereafter specified via the Settings for Experiment Window, whose displayed fields depend on experimental type. For an isotropic (standard) bulk sample measurement, the settings include specifying available probing depth for the generated heat pulse (related to the physical size of the sample), sensor model, measurement time, and heating power. A support function in the form of a Parameter Wizard (described below in more detail) is here available to help set the appropriate measurement time and heating power.

Settings for Experiment Window, Isotropic (Standard) Measurement.

At a given ambient temperature, a series of measurements with the same settings are typically conducted, to obtain statistics on the precision of the experiment. This is conveniently performed by a batch measurement that is automated via the Schedule Tool (described in more detail below).

When a series of measurements is completed, the Experimental Batch Window allows the inspection of the Hot Disk instrument readings of the sensor temperature increase during an individual transient measurement. After an initial jump (related to the sensor cladding/ thermal contact resistance between sensor and sample), it will display a smooth continuously increasing temperature free of disturbances.

Experimental Batch Window – displaying sensor temperature increase during measurement.

The Experimental Batch Window also allows for the inspection of the Hot Disk instrument readings of the sensor temperature drift prior an individual transient measurement. A stable outset sensor temperature thus obtained is important to ensure the full capacity of the Hot Disk instrument in terms of accuracy and precision.

Experimental Batch Window – displaying sensor temperature drift prior measurement.

The measurement data is processed to extract the sample thermal transport properties. An analytical 𝛥𝛵(𝜏)-function for the temperature increase, where 𝜏 is proportional to the square root of time, is fitted to a measured transient temperature reading (over the smooth continuously increasing temperature). The settings for this calculation analysis are made in the Calculations Settings Window. For an isotropic (standard) bulk sample measurement it includes specifying the measurement data points to be considered, the Specific Heat Capacity of the sensor, and whether compensation for temperature drift prior to the transient temperature reading is to be employed.

Calculation Settings Window.

When the calculation analysis is completed, the linear fit of the analytical 𝛥𝛵(𝜏)-function to the measured transient temperature increase over the included data points is displayed in the Experimental Batch Window. The extracted thermal transport properties from this fit are also listed here.

Experimental Batch Window – displaying analytical 𝛥𝛵(𝜏)-function fit to measured sensor temperature increase.

The Experimental Batch Window also allows for the close-up inspection of the quality of the fit by displaying the difference between the included data points and the fitted 𝛥𝛵(𝜏)-function. The data points should be randomly scattered around zero Kelvin to ascertain that the extracted thermal transport properties are not influenced by a temperature drift prior to the transient temperature reading, by the sensor cladding / thermal contact resistance between sensor and sample, or via the generated heat pulse in the sample proving to exceed the available probing depth.

Experimental Batch Window – displaying deviation in analytical 𝛥𝛵(𝜏)-function fit to measured sensor temperature increase.

All data presented in the Experimental Batch Window can be exported to a xlsx- or a txt-file, for further post-processing or reporting. This export function is accessed via the Main Window.

In the Hot Disk Desktop App, executing an experiment with a Hot Disk instrument can of course be done manually. However, the Schedule Tool allows for the automization of all steps involved, which is convenient when repeated measurements are to be conducted. This automization is configured in the Schedule Window, where the consecutive steps of waiting time, temperature drift reading, transient temperature reading, calculation analysis, and export of data, are programmed and monitored. The Schedule Window also allows for programming and monitoring measurements at different ambient temperatures, different sensor ports, and different Hot Disk instruments by automatic control of idle TCUs, Sensor Switch Units, and other Hot Disk instruments.

Schedule Window.

The Hot Disk Desktop App also provides several support functions to the operation of Hot Disk instruments and auxiliary TCUs and Sensor Switch Units. One such support function is a parameter generator for setting measurement time and heating power for the transient temperature reading. This parameter generator is referred to as Parameter Wizard, and is accessed via the Settings for Experiment Window. Parameters are suggested based on entered information in the Parameter Wizard Dialog Box about the sample to be tested. The more information that is entered, the more precise the generated parameters become.

Parameter Wizard Dialog Box – Step 1.
Parameter Wizard Dialog Box – Step 2.

A second support function example is the Temperature Sequence Wizard within the Schedule Tool. This allows for the quick programming of a schedule that involves a sequence of measurements at regular ambient temperature intervals with a selected TCU. The settings are entered in the Temperature Sequence Wizard Dialog Box, which thereafter generates the corresponding list of consecutive steps in the Schedule Window.

Temperature Sequence Wizard Dialog Box.

A third support function example is the Hot Disk Support Wizard launched from the Main Window. This is intended for help identifying and solving any software or hardware issues. The Hot Disk Support Wizard Dialog Box guides the user in the troubleshooting via a step-by-step process. It will guide you toward solving problems by yourself, and – failing this – sending relevant information to the Hot Disk support team, who will rapidly respond to queries.

Hot Disk Support Wizard Dialog Box.