Novel carbon nanotube thermal interfaces for microelectronics
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The thermal interface layer can be a limiting element in the cooling of microelectronic devices. Conventional solders, pastes and pads are no longer sufficient to handle the high heat fluxes associated with connecting the device to the sink. Carbon nanotubes(CNTs) have been proposed as a possible thermal interface material(TI M), due to their thermal and mechanical properties, and prior research has established the effectiveness of vertically arranged CNT arrays to match the capabilities of the best conventional TIMs. However, to reach commercial applicability, many improvements need to be made in terms of improving thermal and mechanical properties as well as cost and manufacturing ease of the layer. Prior work demonstrated a simple method to transfer and bond CNT arrays through the use of a nanometer thin layer of gold as a bonding layer. This study sought to improve on that technique. By controlling the rate of deposition, the bonding temperature was reduced. By using different metals and thinner layers, the potential cost of the technique was reduced. Through the creation of a patterned array, a phase change element was able to be incorporated into the technique. The various interfaces created are characterized mechanically and thermally.