Increasing power dissipation in today’s microprocessors demands thermal interface materials (TIMs) with lower thermal resistances. The TIM thermal resistance depends on the TIM thermal conductivity and the bond line thickness (BLT). Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs) have been proposed to improve the TIM thermal conductivity. However, the rheological properties of TIMs with CNT inclusions are not well understood. In this paper, the transient behavior of the BLT of the TIMs with CNT inclusions has been measured under controlled attachment pressures. The experimental results show that the impact of CNT inclusions on the BLT at low volume fractions (up to 2 vol%) is small; however, higher volume fraction of CNT inclusions (5 vol%) can cause huge increase in TIM thickness. Although thermal conductivities are higher for higher CNT fractions, a minimum TIM resistance exists at some optimum CNT fraction for a given attachment pressure.

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