SUBJECT: Ph.D. Proposal Presentation
BY: Andrew McNamara
TIME: Wednesday, November 28, 2012, 2:00 p.m.
PLACE: Love Building, 210
TITLE: Characterization and Measurements of Next Generation Vertically Aligned Carbon Nanotube Based Thermal Interface Materials
COMMITTEE: Dr. Yogendra Joshi, Co-Chair (ME)
Dr. Zhuomin Zhang, Co-Chair (ME)
Dr. Baratunde Cola (ME)
Dr. Zhiqun Lin (MSE)
Dr. Satish Kumar (MSE)
Dr. Mathew Yao (Rockwell Collins)


It has been known that a significant part of the thermal budget of an electronic package is occupied by the thermal interface material which is used to join different materials. The thesis will focus on the characterization and analysis of novel vertically aligned multiwall carbon nanotubes based thermal interface materials. Due to the reported high axial thermal conductivity and robust mechanical properties, carbon nanotubes have attracted much attention as future thermal interface materials. Due to their high processing temperatures (over 700 C), transfer of the CNT array to a separate processed substrate has been of interest. This work will focus on these different interface materials by (1) theoretically analyzing the role of different interface structures for carbon nanotube based TIM with particular emphasis on a metal based thermal conductive adhesive used to anchor a carbon nanotube array to an active die. A control volume approach which includes intrinsic thermal conductivity of the components and boundary thermal resistances expected in anchoring of the array will be used to estimate the lowest potential resistance achievable with this technique. Furthermore (2) experimentally evaluating the thermophysical properties of a multilayer sample using a steady state infrared imaging technique and a novel transient infrared imaging technique. As will be demonstrated, the transient technique will provide better insight into the individual thermal resistances which contribute to the total resistance as measured through a steady state IR technique and can be used as an effective tool in the measurement of next generation thermal interface materials.