Thermal diffusivity of anodic alumina (AAO) templated bismuth telluride nanowires has been measured using recently proposed frequency modulated thermal wave imaging (FMTWI). The technique provides a fast and efficient non-contact approach for in-plane thermal characterization of nanomaterials. An intensity modulated up-chirp signal is applied as photothermal excitation and the thermal response is monitored using an infrared (IR) thermography based temperature sensing system. Thermal diffusivity of the sample is experimentally assessed using the multiple phase information extracted from a single run of the experiment. This feature considerably reduces the operational time of the experiment as compared to similar lock-in thermography based approaches. This unique approach of solely using the phase information for thermal diffusivity measurements, allows the experiment to be more immune to the local variations in surface temperature and emissivity of the radiating surface. The experimental details of the technique are discussed, with practical measurement of thermal diffusivity of Bi2Te3/AAO nanocomposite in direction perpendicular to the nanochannel axis. © 2014 SPIE.