A layer of diamond can prevent high-power electronic devices from overheating.
Powerful electronic components can get very hot. When many components are combined into a single semiconductor chip, heating can become a real problem. An overheating electronic component wastes energy and is at risk of behaving unpredictably or failing altogether. Consequently, thermal management is a vital design consideration.
This becomes particularly important in devices made from gallium nitride. “Gallium nitride is capable of handling high voltages, and can enable higher power capability and very large bandwidth,” says Yong Han from the Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) Institute of Microelectronics. “But in a gallium nitride transistor chip, the heat concentrates on tiny areas, forming several hotspots.” This exacerbates the heating problem.
Han and co-workers demonstrate both experimentally and numerically that a layer of diamond can spread heat and improve the thermal performance of gallium nitride devices.
The researchers created a thermal test chip that contained eight tiny hotspots, each 0.45 by 0.3 millimeters in size, to generate the heat created in actual devices. They bonded this chip to a layer of high quality diamond fabricated using a technique called chemical vapor deposition. The diamond heat spreader and test chip were connected using a thermal compression bonding process. This was then connected to a microcooler, a device consisting of a series of micrometer-wide channels and a micro-jet impingement array. Water impinges on the heat source wall, and then passes through the micro-channels to remove the heat and keep the structure cool.
Han and the team tried their device by generating 10–120 Watts of heating power in test chips of 100 and 200-micrometer thickness. To dissipate the heating power, the diamond heat spreading layer and microcooler helped maintain the structure at a temperature below 160 degrees Celsius. In fact, the maximum chip temperature was 27.3 per cent lower than another device using copper as the heat spreading layer, and over 40 per cent lower than in a device with no spreading layer.
The experimental results were further confirmed by thermal simulations. The simulations also indicated that the performance could be improved further by increasing the thickness of the diamond layer, and that good bonding quality between the gallium nitride chip and the diamond heat spreader was crucial to obtain the best performance.
“We next hope to develop a novel micro-fluid cooler of higher and more uniform cooling capability, and to achieve thermal management using a diamond layer of high thermal conductivity near an electronic gate,” says Han.
The A*STAR-affiliated researchers contributing to this research are from the Institute of Microelectronics
Han, Y. Lau, B. L., Tang, G. & Zhang, X. Thermal management of hotspots using diamond heat spreader on Si microcooler for GaN devices. IEEE Transactions on Components, Packaging and Manufacturing Technology 5, 1740–1746 (2015).
A*STAR Research | Research SEA
Solid progress in carbon capture
27.10.2016 | King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST)
Greater Range and Longer Lifetime
26.10.2016 | Technologie Lizenz-Büro (TLB) der Baden-Württembergischen Hochschulen GmbH
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences
27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy
27.10.2016 | Life Sciences