Thermoelectric material-coated carbon nanotubes as high conductivity thermal interface materials
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
The ever-decreasing size of the electronic microchips and the ever-increasing density of electronic components required to support future Air Force platforms are creating the problem of substantial localized heat generation that can impair component operation. State of the art thermal interface materials (TIMs), that are used to dissipate heat from the source to the spreader in a microchip, are severely limited in their operation due to high interfacial thermal resistance, non-compliant structures, supercooling (in phase change materials) etc. Even recent advances in using carbon nanotubes (CNTs) by themselves suffers from the drawback of high cost and difficulty in attaining homogenously thick CNT deposits as well as poor interfacial conductivity and limited contact with the mating surfaces due to low filling factor. To address this issue, ADA Technologies, Inc. proposes the development of uniquely treated CNTs dispersed in a conducting polymer. ADA's proposed approach directly addresses the challenge of interfacial resistance between CNTs and mating surfaces resulting in higher performing TIMs in comparison to current state-of-the-art. BENEFIT: Thermal management is a limiting element in further reduction of microchip size, as well as in the design of more complicated circuits for a variety of Air Force applications (including but not limited to solid state tactical lasers, active airborne denial, power MOSGFETs, on-board electronics for unmanned vehicles etc.). TIM capabilities of effective heat transfer from a source to a sink/spreader inside the microchip are severely limited by interstitial air spaces, limited conductivity, high interfacial thermal resistance etc. ADA's approach will enable a TIM with much greater bulk thermal conductivity, a high degree of degree of mechanical compliance and at costs projected to be substantially lower than current state-of-the-art CNT-based TIMs. Thus, the commercial potential of the proposed technology will be considerable as it will enable meeting the performance goals of the next generation of Air Force technologies.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Senior Research Scientist
Research Institution Information:
ADA Technologies, Inc.
8100 Shaffer Parkway Suite #130 Littleton, CO 80127
Number of Employees:
University of Colorado at Boulder
3100 Marine Street
Room 479, Campus Box 572
Boulder, CO 80309