Due to the high intrinsic thermal conductivity of graphitic structures, much interest has developed in incorporating these materials into modern nano-devices for improved thermal abatement. In order to be integrated successfully, thermal energy must be able to transport efficiently through the graphitic materials and into the surrounding structure, most commonly a metal. However, thermal boundary conductance at metal-graphite interfaces is traditionally poor in comparison to non-graphitic substrates, due in large part to the weak van der Waals adhesion force between the metal and underlying carbon structure. To be applicable as thermal abatement materials, an enhanced understanding of the role of the metal-carbon interface is required. This paper reports the changes to phononic thermal transport across the interface between metallic thin films and highly oriented pyrolitic graphite (HOPG) substrates due to changes in interface structure and chemistry. The temperature dependent thermal boundary conductance is measured using transient thermoreflectance from 100 K to 400 K. It is found that the differences in metal-carbon bonding and structure at the interface have a significant impact on the thermal conductance between the metallic thin films and the HOPG substrates.

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