Year of Publication

2010

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)

Document Type

Thesis

College

Engineering

Department

Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Rodney Andrews

Abstract

Shrinking volume, coupled with higher performance, microprocessors and integrated circuits have led to serious heat dissipation issues. In an effort to mitigate the excessive amounts of waste heat and ensure electronic survivability, heat sinks and spreaders are incorporated into heat generating device structures. This inevitability creates a thermal pathway through an interface. Thermal interfaces can possess serious thermal resistances for heat conduction. The introduction of a thermal interface material (TIM) can drastically increase the thermal performance of the component. Exceptional thermal properties of multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) have spurred interest in their use as TIMs. MWCNTs inherently grow in vertically-oriented, high aspect ratio arrays, which is ideal in thermal interface applications because CNTs posses their superior thermal performance along their axis. In this paper, laser flash thermal characterization of sandwich‐bonded and cap‐screw‐bonded aluminum discs for both adhesive-infiltrated and “dry”, 100% MWCNT arrays, respectively. Thermal contact resistances as low as 18.1 mm2K/W were observed for adhesive‐infiltrated arrays and, even lower values, down to 10.583 mm2K/W were measured for “dry” MWCNT arrays. The improved thermal performance of the arrays compared to thermal adhesives and greases currently used in the electronics and aerospace industries, characterize MWCNT arrays as a novel, lighter‐weight, non‐corrosive replacement.

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