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Thermal interface material characterization under thermo-mechanical stress of induced angle of tilt

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Thermal interface materials (TIMs) are extensively used in thermal management applications especially in the microelectronics industry. With the advancement in microprocessors design and speed, the thermal management is becoming more

Thermal interface materials (TIMs) are extensively used in thermal management applications especially in the microelectronics industry. With the advancement in microprocessors design and speed, the thermal management is becoming more complex. With these advancements in microelectronics, there have been parallel advancements in thermal interface materials. Given the vast number of available TIM types, selection of the material for each specific application is crucial. Most of the metrologies currently available on the market are designed to qualify TIMs between two perfectly flat surfaces, mimicking an ideal scenario. However, in realistic applications parallel surfaces may not be the case. In this study, a unique characterization method is proposed to address the need for TIMs characterization between non-parallel surfaces. Two different metrologies are custom-designed and built to measure the impact of tilt angle on the performance of TIMs. The first metrology, Angular TIM Tester, is based on the ASTM D5470 standard with flexibility to perform characterization of the sample under induced tilt angle of the rods. The second metrology, Bare Die Tilting Metrology, is designed to validate the performance of TIM under induced tilt angle between the bare die and the cooling solution in an "in-situ" package testing format. Several types of off-the-shelf thermal interface materials were tested and the results are outlined in the study. Data were collected using both metrologies for all selected materials. It was found that small tilt angles, up to 0.6°, have an impact on thermal resistance of all materials especially for in-situ testing. In addition, resistance change between 0° and the selected tilt angle was found to be in close agreement between the two metrologies for paste-based materials and phase-change material. However, a clear difference in the thermal performance of the tested materials was observed between the two metrologies for the gap filler materials.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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Quantifying the properties of elastic, liquid metal based thermal interface materials

Description

Advancements in thermal interface materials (TIMs) allows for the creation of new and more powerful electronics as they increase the heat transfer from the component to the heat sink. Current

Advancements in thermal interface materials (TIMs) allows for the creation of new and more powerful electronics as they increase the heat transfer from the component to the heat sink. Current industrial options provide decent heat transfer, but the creation of TIMs with higher thermal conductivities is needed. In addition, if these TIMs are elastic in nature, their effectiveness can greatly increase as they can deal with changing interfaces without degradation of their properties. The research performed delves into this idea, creating elastic TIMs using liquid metal (LM), in this case galinstan, along with other matrix particles embedded in Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) to create an easy to use, relatively inexpensive, thermally conductive, but electrically insulative, pad with increased thermal conductivity from industrial solutions.

The pads were created using varying amounts of LM and matrix materials ranging from copper microspheres to diamond powder mixed into PDMS using a high-speed mixer. The material was then cast into molds and cured to create the pads. Once the pads were created, the difficulty came in quantifying their thermal properties. A stepped bar apparatus (SBA) following ASTM D5470 was created to measure the thermal resistance of the pads but it was determined that thermal conductivity was a more usable metric of the pads’ performance. This meant that the pad’s in-situ thickness was needed during testing, prompting the installation of a linear encoder to measure the thickness. The design and analysis of the necessary modification and proposed future design is further detailed in the following paper.

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  • 2017