Investigation of Thermal Interface Materials Using Phase-Sensitive Transient Thermoreflectance Technique: Preprint

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


With increasing power density in electronics packages/modules, thermal resistances at multiple interfaces are a bottleneck to efficient heat removal from the package. In this work, the performance of thermal interface materials such as grease, thermoplastic adhesives and diffusion-bonded interfaces are characterized using the phase-sensitive transient thermoreflectance technique. A multi-layer heat conduction model was constructed and theoretical solutions were derived to obtain the relation between phase lag and the thermal/physical properties. This technique enables simultaneous extraction of the contact resistance and bulk thermal conductivity of the TIMs. With the measurements, the bulk thermal conductivity of Dow TC-5022 thermal grease (70 to 75 um bondline thickness) was 3 to 5W/(m-K) and the contact resistance was 5 to 10 mm2-K/W. For the Btech thermoplastic material (45 to 80 bondline thickness), the bulk thermal conductivity was 20 to 50 W/(m-K) and the contact resistance was 2 to 5 mm2-K/W. Measurements were also conducted to quantify the thermal performance of diffusion-bonded interface for power electronics applications. Results with the diffusion-bonded sample showed that the interfacial thermal resistance is more than one order of magnitude lower than those of traditional TIMs, suggesting potential pathways to efficient thermal management.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages14
StatePublished - 2014
EventITherm 2014 - Orlando, Florida
Duration: 27 May 201430 May 2014


ConferenceITherm 2014
CityOrlando, Florida

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5400-61106


  • bulk thermal conductivity
  • contact resistance
  • phase-sensitive transient thremoreflectance
  • thermal interface materials
  • thermophysical properties


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