Jim: Will these new solid/liquid hybrid (SLH) materials compete with thermal greases, or do you expect this material will be used for higher-end applications – like applications that use pure indium?
Miloš: Metal TIMs will outperform any thermal grease material. Thermal conductivity of thermal grease is much lower and dries out over time, and that will decrease the performance of the material. High-end applications, especially in the semiconductor industry, are generating a lot of heat. Thermal greases or phase change materials can’t meet the thermal dissipation needs for those applications, and metal TIMs are definitely a much better option. SLH TIMs would provide a more upgraded or enhanced version of metal TIMs.
PS: One thing that I should mention while we’re on the topic of thermal greases is that they are the go-to thermal interface material for bare die applications. Solid/liquid hybrid TIMs are able to be used directly against bare die, offering a high-end cooling option for bare die processors.