What is Thermal Interface Material (TIM)?
TIM is a heat conductive material that is inserted in between two components (such as semiconductor devices and heat sink) to enhance the thermal coupling and heat flow by reducing or filling the air gaps.
When two surfaces are in contact, an air void will be formed due to roughness and unevenness of the contact surfaces. The air void is a very poor thermal conductor where it represents significant resistance to heat flow and it will decrease the efficacy of the heat transfer to the ambient environment.
This study highlighted how critically the TIM can be used to improve heat transfer efficiency in a thermal solution. TIM thermal performance is pressure sensitive. Compression force must be applied when TIM in used to obtain the best performance. It is important to understand function and target application for each type of TIM due to it’s different material characteristics and thermal properties. Thermal resistance is an important factor to determine how well the thermal stack up design is. By utilizing the TIM as part of the thermal solution, it is proven that it can help to address critical thermal issues in order to optimize device performance while provide long-term reliability performance.