By Josh Perry, Editor
In this technology review article from Advanced Thermal Solutions, Inc. (ATS), a leading-edge thermal engineering firm based in Norwood, Mass., recent patents for next-generation thermal interface materials (TIM) are highlighted.
This Technology Review will focus on recent developments in Thermal Interface Materials. (Wiklmedia Commons)
Among the innovations that the article explores are the use of carbon nanotubes to enhance TIM, using a fibrous TIM sandwiched between removable paper layers, and a liquid metal TIM used for integrated circuits.
One of the patents was for a “Heterogenous Thermal Interface for Cooling.” The explanation was:
“The present invention is a thermal interface for coupling a heat source to a heat sink. One embodiment of the invention comprises a mesh and a liquid, e.g., a thermally conductive liquid, disposed in the mesh. The mesh and the thermally conductive liquid are adapted to contact both the heat source and the heat sink when disposed there between. In one embodiment, the mesh may comprise a metal or organic material compatible with the liquid. In one embodiment, the liquid may comprise liquid metal. For example, the liquid may comprise a gallium indium tin alloy. A gasket may optionally be used to seal the mesh and the liquid between the heat source and the heat sink. In one embodiment, the heat source is an integrated circuit chip.
“In another aspect of the invention, a method for cooling a heat source with a heat sink is provided. In one embodiment, the method includes providing a thermal interface having a mesh and a liquid disposed in the mesh. The thermal interface is interposed between the heat source and the heat sink, such that the mesh and the liquid are in contact with the heat source on a first side of the thermal interface and in contact with the heat sink on a second side of the thermal interface.
“In another aspect of the invention, a method of fabricating a thermal interface for assisting the thermal transfer of heat from a heat source to a heat sink is provided. In one embodiment, the method includes providing a mesh. A liquid is disposed in the mesh in sufficient quantity to substantially fill the mesh. The liquid comprises liquid metal. Optionally, the liquid metal may subsequently be frozen in place.”
Read about all the patents at https://www.qats.com/cms/2019/02/19/technology-review-thermal-interface-materials.