Molecular dynamics simulation of the carbon nanotube - substrate thermal interface resistance
Rogers, Daniel J.
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Thermal management is a key challenge to improving the performance of microelectronic devices. For many high performance applications, the thermal resistance between chip and heat sink may account for half of the total thermal budget. Chip-level heat dissipation is therefore a critical bottleneck to the development of advanced microelectronics with high junction temperatures. Recently aligned carbon nanotube arrays have been developed as possible next generation thermal interface materials to overcome this thermal limitation, however the thermal physics of these nanoscale interfaces remains unclear. In this thesis, the thermal interface resistance between a carbon nanotube and adjoining carbon, silicon, or copper substrate is investigated through non-equilibrium molecular dynamics simulation. Phonon transmission is calculated using a simplified form of the diffuse mismatch model with direct simulation of the phonon density of states. The results of theory and simulation are reported as a function of temperature in order to estimate the importance of anharmonicity and inelastic scattering. The results of this work provide a better understand of the mechanisms of thermal transport to assist future CNT TIM research and development.