Increasingly, high-performance electronic devices, circuits, and systems require improved heat transfer characteristics. Such improvements are also vital for enabling increased efficiency of solar and thermal energy harvesting. This seminar will cover an application of carbon nanotube (CNT) arrays designed to achieve reduced thermal contact resistance in electronic packages and energy systems. Methods of controlling and optimizing the synthesis of the arrays by plasmaenhanced chemical vapor deposition will be discussed. In the area of heat conduction, reduction of thermal contact resistance at solid-solid interfaces enables reduced temperature drop between the solids and larger allowable temperature differences between the convective surfaces and cooling media. Experimental results, facilitated by a customized photoacoustic metrology technique, demonstrate that dry CNT interfaces can achieve comparable thermal performance to a soldered joint with a small bond line thickness. Possible mechanisms and models to explain experimental results will be discussed, as will opportunities for further research.
Baratunde A. Cola is an assistant professor in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He received his B.E (2002) and M.S. (2004) from Vanderbilt University and his Ph.D. (2008) from Purdue University, all in mechanical engineering. At Purdue, he was honored with an Intel Foundation Fellowship, a Purdue Doctoral Fellowship, and a NASA Institute of Nanoelectronics and Computing Fellowship. He was also the recipient of the Purdue College of Engineering's Top Dissertation Award for his research on photoacoustic characterization of carbon nanotube array thermal interfaces. He was recently honored with a 2009 DARPA Young Faculty Award for his research on solar energy conversion with carbon nanotubes. His current research is focused on fabricating and exploring the properties of nanostructured surfaces and interfaces to enhanced energy transport and conversion, improve heat transfer characteristics, and enable MEMS and nanotechnology devices. He is particularly interested in investigating energy transport through interfaces and nanosized contacts.