We characterize a temperature sensor made from Erbium ions embedded in an amorphous AlGaN matrix that is accessed remotely by measuring the relative intensities from photoluminescence peaks of Er3+. We use this sensor to measure the nanoscale temperature around an optically excited single gold nanoparticle that has been immobilized on the AlGaN substrate. The maximum temperature increase measured experimentally is 8.3 K. The temperature measurement is diffraction limited by our microscope to 490 nm. This temperature corresponds theoretically to a maximum local temperature increase of 22 K. A straight-forward analysis using energy balance gives the thermal conductivity of the amorphous AlGaN substrate as 4.5 W/m-K.
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