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Design and Evaluation of a Thermal Interface Material Automated Cycling Durability Test Program
Keywords: Semiconductor test, thermal cycling, thermal materials
A mechanical reliability test program has been developed and implemented for specialized thermal interface materials (TIMs) developed specifically to meet a set of very challenging requirements. These requirements are found in the semiconductor test market, for semiconductor manufacturers and for companies that design and manufacture semiconductor test and burn-in equipment. In addition to meeting thermal performance goals, the long-term challenge has been to test and evaluate materials that will survive repeated contact cycling with devices under test (DUTs); these devices include high-volume microprocessor, ASIC, power, and RF semiconductors. The goal of new material development is to meet these specialized mechanical durability and higher temperature capability goals as well as thermal performance goals. Cycling with multiple contacts -- up to thousands of cycles with a single TIM -- is important for the semiconductor test industry, to increase yield and throughput and effect cost reductions for test and burn-in. This purpose for this presentation is to describe: (a) An industry survey of test requirements, from equipment and semiconductor manufacturers; (b) Describe development of a mechanical reliability test for evaluating durability; and (c) Describe test and evaluation results for a family of specialized TIMs developed for these exact requirements. The overall goal is to achieve 1,000 cycles in an automated system replicating the actual requirements found in high-volume semiconductor test; in addition to physical requirements, test data an evaluation for thermal resistance, thickness change, and visual analysis will be presented. All testing and evaluation has been completed with an industry-standard, automated ASTM D5470-17 test stand that is commercially available. Data to be presented will include cycling test data, thermal resistance data, material thickness change during test, and a short description of the materials tested.
Dave Saums, Principal
DS&A LLC
Amesbury, MA
USA


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