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Enhancing and Manipulating Thermal Transport in Thermal Interface Materials Through Molecular-level Engineering
Keywords: thermal interface material, atomistic modeling, polymer
Polymeric thermal interface materials are critical components in microelectronics thermal management. However, polymers are usually known as thermal insulators. In this talk, we discuss several aspects of enhancing and maniputating thermal transport within polymers and across their interfaces with hard materials. We will present a series of atomistic simulations and experimental measurements. We will show that manipulating thermal transport across a hard-soft material interface can be achieved by properly functionalizing the hard material surface. We will then discuss the results on Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) – the most widely used thermal interface polymer. The results suggest a strong correlation between the molecular morphology and thermal transport properties. We will also discuss how to enhance thermal transport between polymer and graphene fillers by engineering the interfacial bonding properly. Lastly, we will discuss our findings on the morphology-thermal conductivity dependency in polyethylene fibers, and show how we can utilize such a correlation to manipulate thermal conductivity through temperature, strain and their combination.
Tengfei Luo, Assistant Professor
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN

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