Thermally conductive adhesives are uniquely qualified to meet the increasingly diverse requirements of advanced electronics systems. From their traditional use as fastening materials, adhesives find wide application in bonding and encapsulation in nearly every application segment, including military/aerospace, medical, automotive, and industrial, among others.
In their traditional application in computer and communications systems, thermally conductive adhesives have long played a vital role at the chip level for die attach, at the PCB level for heat sink bonding, and at both the chip- and board-levels for all types of thermal management methods.
As the semiconductor industry pushes toward smaller, higher density devices, product manufacturers face greater challenges in assembling die, package, and other components into products able to cope with increasing heat loads.
Further complicating this critical manufacturing step, each product not only presents growing thermal requirements but also must meet unique manufacturing and lifecycle requirements dictated by the needs of the application.
With advances in epoxies, silicones, and other materials, however, manufacturers can find adhesives able to meet nearly any combination of requirements for thermal, environmental, and structural stability.Advances in semiconductor process technologies continue to yield faster high-density devices that often increase heat loads in target designs.
The ability of thermally conductive adhesives to help dissipate heat has motivated their use as the preferred fastening approach in applications requiring careful thermal management (Figure 1). Besides their use in areas such as power electronics and solar energy, thermally conductive adhesives play a vital role in the rapid growth of the LED lighting industry.
Since light output falls as temperatures rise, the thermal conductive properties of adhesives are particularly important in this arena. By using these adhesives, LED providers are able to deliver highly efficient LED lighting products.
Furthermore, because these adhesives remain resistant to typical environmental stresses such as weathering and corrosion, these products can help deliver the extended operating life expected in the marketplace...
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