Infrared Microscopy Thermal Characterization of Opposing Carbon Nanotube Arrays

[+] Author and Article Information
X. Jack Hu1

Mechanical Engineering Department, Stanford University, 440 Escondido Mall, Stanford, CA 94305jack.hu@intel.com

Matthew A. Panzer, Kenneth E. Goodson

Mechanical Engineering Department, Stanford University, 440 Escondido Mall, Stanford, CA 94305


Current address: Intel Corporation, 5000 W. Chandler Blvd, CH5-157, Chandler, AZ 85226.

J. Heat Transfer 129(1), 91-93 (Jun 25, 2006) (3 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2401202 History: Received January 16, 2006; Revised June 25, 2006

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have received much recent research interest for thermal management applications due to their extremely high thermal conductivity. An advanced thermal interface structure made of two opposing, partially overlapped CNT arrays is designed for thermally connecting two contact surfaces. The performance of this interface structure is thermally characterized using diffraction-limited infrared microscopy. Significant temperature discontinuities are found at the CNT-CNT contact region, which indicates a large thermal resistance between CNTs. Due to this intertube resistance, the thermal performance of the CNT-based interface structure is far below expectation (with a thermal resistance value about 3.8×104Km2W).

Copyright © 2007 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy images of vertically oriented CNTs grown on silicon substrates (Courtesy of Molecular Nanosystems Inc.)

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Figure 2

Schematic of a CNT interface structure with two partially overlapped opposing CNT arrays

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Figure 3

Experimental system for measuring the temperature profile along a CNT interface structure subject to a constant heat flux

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Figure 4

Measured temperature profile across a CNT interface structure at a heat flux of 10W∕(15mm×15mm)




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