The Effects of Material Properties on Heat Dissipation in High Power Electronics

[+] Author and Article Information
T. J. Lu

Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 1PZ England

A. G. Evans, J. W. Hutchinson

Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138

J. Electron. Packag 120(3), 280-289 (Sep 01, 1998) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2792634 History: Received January 01, 1997; Revised January 27, 1998; Online December 05, 2007


The role of the substrate in determining heat dissipation in high power electronics is calculated, subject to convective cooling in the small Biot number regime. Analytical models that exploit the large aspect ratio of the substrate to justify approximations are shown to predict the behavior with good accuracy over a wide range of configurations. The solutions distinguish heat spreading effects’ that enable high chip-level power densities from insulation effects that arise at large chip densities. In the former, the attributes of high thermal conductivity are apparent, especially when the substrate dimensions are optimized. Additional benefits that derive from a thin layer of a high thermal conductivity material (such as diamond) are demonstrated. In the insulating region, which arises at high overall power densities, the substrate thermal conductivity has essentially no effect on the heat dissipation. Similarly, for compact multichip module designs, with chips placed on both sides of the substrate, heat dissipation is insensitive to the choice of the substrate material, unless advanced cooling mechanisms are used to remove heat around the module perimeter.

Copyright © 1998 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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