Thermally Conductive Liquid Materials for Electronics Packaging
Electronics packaging has utilized one-part and two-part liquid adhesives and sealants for many years. Solid thermal interface pads or sheets have also been widely used in electronics applications. As the need for thermal management and heat dissipation increases due to the decrease in size and increase in power utilization of electronics assemblies, thermally conductive liquid materials have seen widespread implementation. Thermally conductive liquids are similar to their non-conductive liquid and conductive solid predecessors in many respects, but also differ in some very significant ways. The rheology, handling, and dispensing characteristics of these materials are quite distinct. The significant advantages of using thermally conductive liquids can best be realized when understanding some fundamental characteristics of these materials. We will present the performance, manufacturing, and reliability issues related to thermally conductive liquids. Significant differences with respect to solid pad like materials and unfilled liquids will be explored.
By John Timmerman, Ph. D.
Chanhassen, MN, USA