Highly filled thermally conductive silicone gels are routinely used as first level thermal interface materials (TIMs) between the die and lid, in flip-chip organic packages. The main challenge for these TIMs is overcoming the Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (CTE) mismatch between the die and lid materials. The TIMs must maintain excellent adhesion to both the die and lid surfaces in order to achieve and maintain optimal thermal performance. The CTE mismatch leads to increased mechanical stress and degradation of the TIM, which in turn degrades the thermal performance. In this work, the effective modulus of several TIMs was calculated by finite element modeling (FEM) in concert with mechanical testing of thin bond-line aluminum-TIM sandwiches subjected to varied stress conditions. These results are correlated to the corresponding stress die shear testing and the impact on package performance is analyzed.

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