Highly thermal conductive and electrically insulated graphene based thermal interface material with long-term reliability
Paper in proceedings, 2019
High density packaging in combination with increased transistor integration inevitably leads to challenging power densities in terms of thermal management. The conventional TIMs that are widely used in the microelectronic industry today are experiencing more and more stress due to their limited thermal performance and poor reliability. Composed by particle laden polymer matrix, thermal conductivity (K) of conventional TIMs is generally limited to 5 W/mK, and such values can be even lower for electrically insulated TIMs. Conventional TIMs also suffer from severe pump-out and dry-out failures, which brought great threat to the performance and lifetime of the electronic devices. Here, we solve these problems by applying a novel highly thermal conductive, electrically insulated and reliable graphene based TIMs (I-GTs). Composed by vertical graphene structures, I-GTs provide a continuous heat pathway from top to bottom, which enables superfast heat dissipation at through-plane direction. The highest bulk through-plane thermal conductivity of the conductive body can reach up to 1000 W/mK, which is orders of magnitude higher than conventional TIMs, and even outperforms the pure indium TIMs by over ten times. The highly flexible and foldable nature of I-GT enables at least 100% compressibility upon small applied pressures. As excellent gap fillers, I-GT can provide complete physical contact between two surfaces and thereby minimize the contact resistance to heat flow. The measured minimum thermal resistance for I-GTs reaches about 30 Kmm2/W. Such values are significantly higher than the randomly dispersed composites presented above. To ensure fully electrical insulation, a smooth and soft adhesive layer with a thickness of few microns was coated on the surface of I-GT. The breakdown voltage of I-GT reaches up to 950 V. Thermal cycling test shows the highly stable nature of I-GT. The good compressibility and elasticity of I-GT ensures continued proper TIM contact with substrates, which counteracts the effect of internal stress induced by the mismatch of coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) during temperature cycling. In addition, the I-GTs have the advantages of low density and good maintainability. The resulting I-GTs thus opens new opportunities for addressing large heat dissipation issues for form-factor driven electronics and other high power driven systems.