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Flexible Thermal Ground Plane Enabled by ALD/MLD-Based Barrier Coatings
Keywords: ALD, Barrier Coating , Thermal Ground Plane
Thermal ground plane is a two-dimensional heat pipe solution for advanced thermal management. With nano-scaled features fabricated on evaporators and condensers, a 1-mm thin thermal ground plane (TGP) is being developed to reach an effective thermal conductivity 100X better than coppers. More importantly, the TGP is fabricated using flexible circuit board technologies. A conductive and flexible thermal ground plane will be critical to future electronic systems including high heat flux laser modules, high power servers or radar systems, and low power cell phones. However, TGPs working medium, e.g. water, has to be hermetically sealed. ALD/MLD-based barrier coatings are essential to make the polymer TGP hermetic. We have conducted a water-loss study of various TGP hermeticity test vehicles. Without any barrier coating, the water loss at room temperature has reached 1 mg/day, which is close to our theoretical estimation. With ALD barrier coating, the water loss became immeasurable; it is also expected since there is a 1000X reduction in water vapor transmission when a Kapton is coated with 25nm ALD alumina. We will report more results and details of the theoretical estimations.
Ching-Yi Lin,
University of Colorado at Boulder
Boulder, CO

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