Thermal Interface Materials (TIMs) with High Thermal Conductivity Particles

Event Date: April 3, 2018


  • Rajath Kantharaj


  • Jackson Santana (Fall 2018-Spring 2019)



Joint project with Prof. Aaron Morris and Prof. Carl Wassgren

Project Overview:

This goal of this proposal to advance the fundamental understanding of thermal transport in composites including high thermal conductivity fillers through a combination of state-of-the-art experimental measurements and simulations focusing on control of the composite microstructure and the impact on interfaces.  It is obvious that particle composition, orientation, and arrangement play a critical role in the overall heat transfer in composites. Such effects are often accounted for in thermal models by approximations (e.g. random particle arrangements) or estimates (e.g. tunable alignment factors) because the true filler geometry is challenging to predict or measure. This lack of structural data, combined with lack of data on interface resistances, prevents truly predictive analysis. Fundamental models that do not require calibration parameters are critical for robust predictive capability. To address the fundamental gaps in understanding & predicting thermal transport in composites, this proposal will (i) assess the validity of current heat transfer models by using particle configurations directly measured using X-ray computed tomography (XRCT), (ii) integrate key multi-physics aspects into models that couple granular mechanics and hydrodynamics of the composite synthesis and application process, and (iii) improve the thermal performance by manipulating the particle configuration within a material through controlling aspects of the synthesis and application process. 


XRCT reconstruction of particle distribution in a mock TIM consisting of ~100 𝜇𝑚 diameter copper particles in a UV curable epoxy


Selected Related Publications: