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Attention Thermal Testers

  • Thermal Interface Materials
  • Semiconductor Packaging
  • Indium Corporation
  • Looking for ways to troubleshoot or optimize your Thermal Interface materials?  One method which we have contrived to determine the performance of your thermal stack-up excluding the thermal interface material is to use a liquid metal.  This is a topic I have discussed at multiple conferences, but will discuss in-depth in a later posting.


    Another method that can be used involves placing a phase change metal at the thermal interface to make a mold of the Tthermal interface material gap.  Some metal thermal interface materials melt at a low enough temperature to melt during chip operation or under mild heat.  At room temperature however, they re-solidify, taking a mold of the thermal interface material gap.  By disassembling your thermal stack-up with the phase-change metal, you can view any non-planarity of substrates or surface roughness through inspection of the metal thermal interface material.  It is unlikely that the interface material will completely squeeze-out or appear with a smooth mirror-like finish because no machined parts are perfect.  This method will demonstrate just how far off perfect your material design has come.