Development and characterization of graphene-enhanced thermal conductive adhesives
Paper in proceedings, 2014
According to Moore's Laws, complexity and power densities of electronic devices are increased during the last decades, moreover their dimensions are shrinking to nanometers causing hot-spot temperature escalation. Thermal management, therefore, becomes a critical issue for next generation of electronics. This scenario motivates development of novel thermal conductive adhesive (TCA) with enhanced thermal conductivity. Conventional TCAs use polymers as the matrix (base material) and utilize large loading weight fraction of the filler, usually silver particles, to achieve the thermal conductivity of 1-4 W/ m K at room temperature . Lately it was discovered that graphene exhibit superior thermal conductivity  even when they are incorporated with matrix materials , which offers a potential to develop high thermal conductive graphene-filled compound. In this paper, a new functionalized graphene and its filled TCA have been developed and characterized. Starting from pristine graphite flakes, graphene was prepared through chemical exfoliation and functionalized with a nano silver layer to form a special metal/graphene hybrid material. Moreover, an efficient method to uniformly disperse the nano-scaled graphene hybrid material in silver-epoxy matrix was developed. Cross-section view of SEM has shown a homogeneous component structure, and TGA analysis of hybrid material is given. The developed compound is based on a commercial TCA which is composed with epoxy matrix and micro-sized Ag flakes. Thermal characterization through Laser-flash equipment has indicated that a significant thermal conductivity improvement was achieved through adding functionalized graphene into the material. Different TCA samples with different weight percentages of functionalized graphene ranging from 0 % (reference) to 11.5 % were prepared and tested to study thermal conductivity change. Data show that a thermal conductivity value of 7.6 W/ m K is reached when the graphene/silver percentage is 11.5 % that is almost 4 times higher than our reference.