Fundamental Characterization of Low Dimensional Carbon Nanomaterials for 3D Electronics Packaging
Doktorsavhandling, 2021

Transistor miniaturization has over the last half century paved the way for higher value electronics every year along an exponential pace known as 'Moore's law'. Now, as the industry is reaching transistor features that no longer makes economic sense, this way of developing integrated circuits (ICs) is coming to its definitive end. As a solution to this problem, the industry is moving toward higher hanging fruits that can enable larger sets of functionalities and ensuring a sustained performance increase to continue delivering more cost-effective ICs every product cycle. These design strategies beyond Moore's law put emphasis on 3D stacking and heterogeneous integration, which if implemented correctly, will deliver a continued development of ICs for a foreseeable future. However, this way of building semiconductor systems does bring new issues to the table as this generation of devices will place additional demands on materials to be successful.

The international roadmap of devices and systems (IRDS) highlights the need for improved materials to remove bottlenecks in contemporary as well as future systems in terms of thermal dissipation and interconnect performance. For this very purpose, low dimensional carbon nanomaterials such as graphene and carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are suggested as potential candidates due to their superior thermal, electrical and mechanical properties. Therefore, a successful implementation of these materials will ensure a continued performance to cost development of IC devices.

This thesis presents a research study on some fundamental materials growth and reliability aspects of low dimensional carbon based thermal interface materials (TIMs) and interconnects for electronics packaging applications. Novel TIMs and interconnects based on CNT arrays and graphene are fabricated and investigated for their thermal resistance contributions as well electrical performance. The materials are studied and optimized with the support of chemical and structural characterization. Furthermore, a reliability study was performed which found delamination issues in CNT array TIMs due to high strains from thermal expansion mismatches. This study concludes that CNT length is an important factor when designing CNT based systems and the results show that by further interface engineering, reliability can be substantially improved with maintained thermal dissipation and electrical performance. Additionally, a heat treatment study was made that enables improvement of the bulk crystallinity of the materials which will enable even better performance in future applications.

Reliability aspects


Thermal management

Carbon nanotubes

Electrical interconnects. Thermal interface material

Heat treatment.

Online - Passcode: 823896
Opponent: Prof. Jinbo Bai, Department of Mechanical Civil Engineering Ecole CentraleSupelec, Paris-Saclay Universiy, France


Andreas Nylander

Chalmers, Mikroteknologi och nanovetenskap, Elektronikmaterial

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Faster, cheaper and more functional, this is how we have gotten used to the development of microelectronic devices that we use in our daily lives. This is the result of transistor miniaturization that has provided an exponential increase in terms of performance to cost along a predicted pace, bringing doubled performance in affordable devices roughly every second year. This scaling is now about to reach its definite end as fabrication costs are escalating for photolithography features below 10 nm where further miniaturization becomes impractical. A proposed solution to circumvent this limitation is by stacking chips in a third dimension, referred to as 3D packaging which would ensure a continued scaling of transistors in electronic systems. However, a 3D stacked package like this does place additional demands on packaging solutions to be viable in commercial devices, such as improved interconnect and thermal management materials.

Low dimensional carbon nanomaterials are extensively researched for their impressive mechanical, thermal, and electrical properties. For this reason, graphene and carbon nanotubes have been suggested for use in microelectronic devices where they could remove thermal and electrical bottlenecks, and in turn, facilitate 3D packaging for consumer devices. In this thesis, carbon nanotubes and graphene have been explored for application both as thermal interface materials and electrical conductors intended for microelectronic devices. By evaluating fabrication considerations, performance and reliability of these materials, new routes are outlined for the next generation of 3D electronic packages.

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Doktorsavhandlingar vid Chalmers tekniska högskola. Ny serie: 4907



Online - Passcode: 823896


Opponent: Prof. Jinbo Bai, Department of Mechanical Civil Engineering Ecole CentraleSupelec, Paris-Saclay Universiy, France

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