Thermal Conductivity Characterization of Thermal Interface Materials

The need to further improve cooling and thermal dissipation of electronic devices, transformers and equipment is critical as technological advancements continue. The accurate measurement of the thermal properties of thermal interface materials is critical to material innovation. Good methods for thermal conductivity analysis should be precise and accurate to ensure good-quality data; not unduly affected by environmental conditions to ensure repeatability; user-friendly to enable reliable data collection even by inexperienced experimenters; speedy to enable the rapid collection of reliable data; and consistent between experimenters. An ideal method of thermal conductivity analysis satisfies all of the above criteria, which must all be considered in selecting experimental methods.

Selection of the best tool must also consider the nature and chemical composition of the material. Thermal properties of TIM’s can vary greatly depending on their phase, temperature, humidity and viscosity, all which play a role in determining the best technique. This presentation will provide an in-depth look at thermal conductivity data of a wide range of both commercial and experimental thermal interface materials, along with a variety of methods being used to characterize them. Ease-of-use, test time and potential instrumentation bias will also be discussed.


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