Future Circuits International, Issue 5, pp. 75-78, 1999

A Quantitative Assessment of Thermal Interface Materials

Iuliana Bordelon, Jingsong Xie and Yogendra Joshi
CALCE Electronic Products and Systems Consortium
University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742

Carol Latham
Thermagon, Cleveland, OH 44109


As electronics become smaller and more functional, improper thermal management can degrade a product's performance and reliability. Attaching a heat sink to a package without any thermally conductive interface material results in a high thermal interfacial resistance due to the interstitial air gaps between the packate and heat sink. In this paper, thermal resistance change due to the introduction of interface materials is calculated based upon a thermal interface efficiency. It is shown that using interface materials above a certain contact load becomes inefficient.

Key words-- Thermal interface materials, thermal greases, thermally conductive compounds, thermally conductive elastomers, thermally conductive adhesive tapes, thermal resistance, thermal conductive efficiency.

Complete article is available to CALCE Consortium Members

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