STTR Phase II: Improved Boron Nitride Materials for Enhanced Thermal Management

Award Information
National Science Foundation
Award Year:
Phase II
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
580 Burbank St, Unit 100, 6745 HOLLISTER AVENUE, Broomfield, CO, 80020
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
John Ferguson
(303) 318-4146
Business Contact:
Karen Buechler
(303) 318-4145
Research Institution:
Univ of CO
Alan W Weimer
Department of Chemical Engineering
Boulder, CO, 80309
(303) 492-3759
Nonprofit college or university
This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase II project builds upon the successful Phase I results to develop surface modified boron nitride (BN) filler materials for electronic thermal management applications. Novel Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) nanocoating is used to selectively functionalize edges only or edges/basal planes to improve wetting of BN platelets with resin encapsulants. The improved wetting allows for reduced viscosity of BN/resin mixtures during processing so that increased BN filler particle loadings can be achieved, resulting in higher thermal conductivity electronic packages. These improvements are best realized using an ultra-thin (nm thick), conformal, pin-hole free, chemically bonded silica nanofilm selectively placed on the edges of primary BN platelets. Coating the edges of platelets only provides for a low cost impact since edges being nanocoated represent less than 10% of the available platelet surface area. Higher BN loadings in filled composites allow for improved heat dissipation in electronic packaging materials, particularly in the case of glob top coatings and potting compounds. Proposed Phase II R&D is focused on working with potential customers to develop applications of particle ALD surface modified BN fillers for their specific moulding compound systems. Film chemistry and thickness will be developed for their specific applications.Commercially, the ALD nanocoating of individual ultrafine particles to control their surfacechemistry is enabling technology that is unparalleled compared to more conventional CVD,PVD, PE-CVD, or wet chemistry solution processing. The process allows for individualultra-fine particles to be nanocoated, rather than coating aggregates of ultra-fine particles. Itis independent of line of sight and provides for chemically bonded films to the substrateparticle surface. It is easily scalable. It is a forgiving process where the nanocoatingthickness is controlled by self-limiting surface reactions (not flux, temperature, or time ofprocessing like CVD, etc.). ALD films are pin-hole free and conformal. The potentialimpact of successful large scale processing extends far beyond this proposedmicroelectronics packaging application. It is now possible to produceultrafine particles with designed electrical, magnetic, optical, mechanical, rheological, orother properties. Markets for such functionalized ultra-fine powders includemicroelectronics, defense, hardmetals, cosmetics, drug delivery, energetic materials, andpolymer/ceramic nanocomposites, among others.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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