Research Papers: Forced Convection

Investigation on Carbon Nanotubes as Thermal Interface Material Bonded With Liquid Metal Alloy

[+] Author and Article Information
Yulong Ji

Associate Professor
Marine Engineering College,
Dalian Maritime University,
Dalian, Liaoning Province 116026, China
e-mails: jiyulong@dlmu.edu.cn; jiyulongcn@163.com

Gen Li, Chao Chang, Yuqing Sun

Marine Engineering College,
Dalian Maritime University,
Dalian, Liaoning Province 116026, China

Hongbin Ma

Department of Mechanical
and Aerospace Engineering,
University of Missouri,
Columbia, MO 65211

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received April 29, 2014; final manuscript received August 11, 2014; published online May 14, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Yogesh Jaluria.

J. Heat Transfer 137(9), 091017 (May 14, 2015) (9 pages) Paper No: HT-14-1261; doi: 10.1115/1.4030233 History: Received April 29, 2014

Vertically aligned carbon nanotube (VACNT) films with high thermal conductance and mechanical compliance offer an attractive combination of properties for thermal interface applications. In current work, VACNT films synthesized by the chemical vapor deposition method were used as thermal interface material (TIM) and investigated experimentally. The liquid metal alloy (LMA) with melting point of 59 °C was used as bonding material to attach VACNT films onto copper plates. In order to enhance the contact area of LMA with the contact surface, the wettability of the contact surface was modified by plasma treatment. The thermal diffusivity, thermal conductivity, and thermal resistance of the synthesized samples were measured and calculated by the laser flash analysis (LFA) method. Results showed that: (1) VACNT films can be used as TIM to enhance the heat transfer performance of the contact surface; (2) the LMA can be used as bonding material, and its performance is dependent on the LMA wettability on the contact surface. (3) When applying VACNT film as the TIM, LMA is used as the bonding material. After plasma treatment, comparison of VACNT films with the dry contact between copper and silicon showed that thermal diffusivity can be increased by about 160%, the thermal conductivity can be increased by about 100%, and the thermal resistance can be decreased by about 31%. This study shows the advantages of using VACNT films as TIMs in microelectronic packaging.

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Fig. 2

Plasma treatment process

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Fig. 4

Schematic illustration of synthesized sandwiched structure copper plate samples

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Fig. 5

Working principle of LFA 457

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Fig. 3

Contact angle variation before and after atmospheric pressurized plasma treatment

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Fig. 1

SEM images of VACNT at lower and higher magnification

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Fig. 6

Experimental thermal diffusivity measurement of the samples at different temperatures

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Fig. 7

Schematic principles of wetting after melted LMA application on the substrate

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Fig. 8

Experimental thermal conductivity measurement of the samples at different temperatures

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Fig. 9

Experimental thermal resistance measurement of the samples at different temperatures



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