Tokyo – Zeon Corp. has developed a rubber-based thermal interface material (TIM) pad that offers a significant advance in cooling technology of computing devices, the company announced 10 Dec.
The heat-dissipation materials incorporate super-growth carbon nanotubes (SGCNTs) and are said to offer higher operability and reliability compared to conventional thermal grease.
According to Zeon, the development follows the start of operations at an SGCNT mass production plant in November 2015.
Zeon is also constructing a pilot plant for mass production of the new TIM. The facility is scheduled to be completed in December 2016.
“Demand is expected to surge for the material, as it could address the major problem of heat generated by servers and power devices,” said the Japanese company.
The new TIM, it added, can “significantly reduce the temperature of semiconductors in servers and power devices that have been increasingly subject to extreme heat generation...”
The development project was sponsored by the Incorporated Administrative Agency New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).
The method was jointly developed by Zeon and the Incorporated Administrative Agency National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST). It also employs Zeon’s proprietary dispersion process and compound and processing technologies for rubber.
Thermal conductivity can be adjusted in the range of 10–100 W/m·K by creating a thermal conduction pathway of graphite with an SGCNT mesh structure and adjusting the volume and form of added SGCNTs and graphite, said Zeon.
High flexibility, it added, can be maintained with a new mixing technology, allowing for superior adhesion even under a low pressure of 0.1 MPa. This provides a thermal resistance of 0.05°C/W, which is lower than the 0.10°C/W characteristic of thermal grease.
Zeon believes that replacing thermal grease with the new thermal pad will enhance productivity in the manufacture of semiconductors by streamlining fabrication processes.