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Application and Performance Characteristics of Soft Metal Thermal Interface Materials for IGBT Applications
Keywords: Metallic, thermal interface, impedance
Development of metallic pads as thermal interface materials for large area applications using soft metals such as indium and indium alloys, without reflow soldering,is intended to utilize relatively high thermal conductivity of such metals to provide improved thermal impedance for IGBT power semiconductor modules. Small indium shims have been a traditional interface material for RF flange-mount single die devices for telcom and RF applications; these concepts have not been applied to large surface areas. Comparative test data at time zero for compressible metal TIMs, thermal greases, phase-change, and other materials used commonly for TIM2 applications will be shown. Data is derived from both TTV and ASTM D5470-06 testing. Progress in development of bake testing, power cycling, thermal cycling and HAST, and shock and vibration testing will be shown. Assembly requirements, relevant pressure range, rework considerations, packaging, and handling requirements will be addressed. Pre-application of metal TIMs to module bases will be discussed. IGBT applications for TIM materials can be significantly different from requirements for TIMs for processors and integrated circuits. Heat dissipation to kilowatt levels, extremely harsh operating cycles with rapid intermittent operation and critical motor starting demands, operation at locked rotor conditions, and other characteristics of IGBT duty cycles impact reliability of package and thermal materials used in HEV, automotive, traction, motor control, power generation, welding, and other critical applications. These operating characteristics for traditional multiple-die IGBT modules with baseplates must be considered in evaluating appropriate reliability testing for TIM materials in development. Development of IGBT multi-die modules and single-die packages without baseplates affects TIM material selection considerations and operating and reliability characteristics.
Dave Saums, Principal
DS&A LLC
Amesbury, MA
USA


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