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Comparative Test Data for TIM Materials for Silicon and Silicon Carbide IGBT Modules
Keywords: comparative, TIM, Testing
Developments in power semiconductor modules include operation at higher junction temperatures for well-known silicon IGBTs, as well as the use of silicon carbide (SiC) devices that allow significantly higher junction temperatures. These developments require that thermal and packaging materials used in such power modules are also characterized for operation at higher temperatures. Comparative testing will be shown for a set of thermal interface materials (TIMs) at different temperatures in several different types of TIM material test procedures. Test data prepared using three different test methods will be compared: 1. ASTM D5470-06 with known temperatures and clamping forces; 2. In-situ testing with industry-standard IGBT modules, at known temperatures and estimated clamping forces; 3. In-situ testing utilizing a thermal test vehicle (TTV) for TIM2 performance for a processor module. In-situ testing has been performed at an independent power semiconductor manufacturer, using both industry-standard and commonly-available silicon IGBT modules and a custom-designed silicon carbide module with a relatively small footprint, capable of high operating junction temperatures. It was found that thermal images of power modules with several different materials tend to correlate with the thermal resistance of materials measured with the ASTM D 5470-06 method. For example, thermal resistance values at 55 oC for an 8 mil (0.008”) gap pad measured by the ASTM D 5470-06 method at 11 and 70 psi were found to be 0.116 and 0.078 oC/W. which correlated thermal imaging on an IGBT module at two estimated pressures of 10 and 80 psi of 0.135 and 0.052 oC/W. These thermal interface materials were also tested on a TTV. The relevance of the thermal imaging, the TTV and the ASTM values is also discussed in light of a previous over-clocker study.
Victor Papanu, VP Engineering
AOS Thermal Compounds LLC
Eatontown, NJ

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