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Research Papers

Investigation on the Optimized Binary and Ternary Gallium Alloy as Thermal Interface Materials

[+] Author and Article Information
Yunxia Gao

Key Laboratory of Materials Physics,
Institute of Solid State Physics,
Chinese Academy of Sciences,
Hefei 230031, China
e-mail: yxgao@issp.ac.cn

Xianping Wang

Key Laboratory of Materials Physics,
Institute of Solid State Physics,
Chinese Academy of Sciences,
Hefei 230031, China
e-mail: xpwang@issp.ac.cn

Jing Liu

Key Laboratory of Cryogenics,
Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry,
Chinese Academy of Sciences,
Beijing 100190, China;
Department of Biomedical Engineering,
Tsinghua University,
Beijing 100084, China

Qianfeng Fang

Key Laboratory of Materials Physics,
Institute of Solid State Physics,
Chinese Academy of Sciences,
Hefei 230031, China

1Corresponding authors.

Contributed by the Electronic and Photonic Packaging Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ELECTRONIC PACKAGING. Manuscript received August 18, 2016; final manuscript received October 8, 2016; published online November 23, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Ashish Gupta.

J. Electron. Packag 139(1), 011002 (Nov 23, 2016) (8 pages) Paper No: EP-16-1099; doi: 10.1115/1.4035025 History: Received August 18, 2016; Revised October 08, 2016

This work presents an experimental study to enhance the thermal contact conductance of high performance thermal interface materials (TIMs) using gallium alloy. In this experiment, the gallium alloy-based TIMs are synthesized by a micro-oxidation reaction method, which consists of gallium oxides (Ga2O3) dispersed uniformly in gallium alloys. An experimental apparatus is designed to measure the thermal resistance across the gallium alloy-based TIMs under steady-state conditions. The existence of Ga2O3 can effectively improve the wettability of gallium alloys with other materials. For example, they have a better wettability with copper and anodic coloring 6063 aluminum-alloy without any extrusion between the interface layers. Gallium binary alloy-based TIMs (GBTIM) or ternary alloy based-TIMs (GTTIM) are found to increase the operational temperature range comparing with that of the conventional thermal greases. The measured highest thermal conductivity is as high as 19.2 Wm−1K−1 for GBTIM at room temperature. The wide operational temperature, better wettability, and higher thermal conductivity make gallium alloy-based TIMs promising for a wider application as TIMs in electronic packaging areas. The measured resistance is found to be as low as 2.2 mm2 KW−1 for GBTIM with a pressure of 0.05 MPa, which is much lower than that of the best commercialized thermal greases. In view of controlling pollution and raw materials wasting, the gallium alloy-based TIMs can be cleaned by 30% NaOH solution, and the pure gallium alloys are recycled, which can satisfy industrial production requirements effectively.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Experimental apparatus for thermal resistance measurement. (a) The optical image of the apparatus, the arrows represent the flowing direction of wind and (b) schematic of TIM interfaces for thermal resistance measurement.

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Fig. 2

Ga2p3/2, Ga03d, In04d, and In3d5/2 photoelectron spectra measured for Ga–In GBTIM. The experimental data (dots), the fits to the spectra and the components (solid lines).

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Fig. 3

Ga2p3/2, Ga03d, In04d, In3d5/2, and Sn3d5/2 photoelectron spectra measured for Ga–In–Sn GTTIM. The experimental data (dots), the fits to the spectra and the components (solid lines).

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Fig. 4

The differential scanning calorimeter curve of GBTIM and GTTIM which consist of 1 wt.% oxygen

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Fig. 5

Wettability of (a) and (b) GaIn10 alloy and (c) GBTIM with copper; a perfectly wetted surface of GBTIM with (d) anodic coloring 6063 aluminum-alloy and (e) cooper

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Fig. 6

Temperature of the heat source (a) and temperature difference (b) between the two copper blocks with the heat load

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Fig. 7

Schematic principles of heat conduction with (a) no pressure and (b) a pressure of 0.05 MPa

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Fig. 8

Thermal interface resistance of GBTIM and GTTIM with the heat load

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Fig. 9

Recycling process of liquid metal-based TIMs

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