Degradation of Carbon Nanotube Array Thermal Interface Materials through Thermal Aging: Effects of Bonding, Array Height, and Catalyst Oxidation
Journal article, 2021

Carbon nanotube (CNT) array thermal interface materials (TIMs) are promising candidates for high-performance applications in terms of thermal performance. However, in order to be useful in commercial applications, the reliability of the interfaces is an equally important parameter, which so far has not been thoroughly investigated. In this study, the reliability of CNT array TIMs is investigated through accelerated aging. The roles of CNT array height and substrate configuration are studied for their relative impact on thermal resistance degradation. After aging, the CNT catalyst is analyzed using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy to evaluate chemical changes. The CNT-catalyst bond appears to degrade during aging but not to the extent that the TIM performance is compromised. On the other hand, coefficient of thermal expansion mismatch between surfaces creates strain that needs to be absorbed, which requires CNT arrays with sufficient height. Transfer and bonding of both CNT roots and tips also create more reliable interfaces. Crucially, we find that the CNT array height of most previously reported CNT array TIMs is not enough to prevent significant reliability problems.

thermal interface materials

reliability

thermal cycling

carbon nanotubes

XPS

Author

Andreas Nylander

Chalmers, Microtechnology and Nanoscience (MC2), Electronics Material and Systems Laboratory

Josef Hansson

Chalmers, Microtechnology and Nanoscience (MC2), Electronics Material and Systems Laboratory

Torbjörn Nilsson

Chalmers, Microtechnology and Nanoscience (MC2), Electronics Material and Systems Laboratory

L. Ye

SHT Smart High-Tech

Yifeng Fu

Chalmers, Microtechnology and Nanoscience (MC2), Electronics Material and Systems Laboratory

Johan Liu

Chalmers, Microtechnology and Nanoscience (MC2), Electronics Material and Systems Laboratory

ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces

1944-8244 (ISSN) 1944-8252 (eISSN)

Vol. 13 26 30992-31000

Subject Categories

Textile, Rubber and Polymeric Materials

Materials Chemistry

Composite Science and Engineering

DOI

10.1021/acsami.1c05685

PubMed

34160204

More information

Latest update

7/29/2021