Keeping cool in the electronics industry.

PLANSEE: Ice cold.
 

Excellent thermal conductivity, a controlled coefficient of thermal expansion and outstanding material purity. Perfectly clear: Our products for the electronics industry have very special physical properties. Used as base plates and heat spreaders, they ensure the reliability of electrical equipment.

 

 

Heat flux density

 

 

At first glance, the fact that electrical components generate heat would not seem to be anything to worry about. Nowadays, practically any schoolchild can tell you that parts of a computer get warm while it is switched on. While the device is operating, a proportion of the supplied electrical energy is lost as heat. But let us take a closer look: The transfer of heat can also be expressed as heat flux per unit (of)area (heat flux density). As the examples in the graph illustrate, the heat flux density in many electronic components can be extreme. As high as in a rocket nozzle throat in which temperatures as high as 2 800 °C may arise.

 

 

Unlike the rocket nozzle, semiconductor components in the high-performance electronics sector, such as radio frequency amplifiers in telecom base stations or power transistors in electric vehicles only have to withstand temperatures of 100 to a maximum 200 °C. However, the heat  generated in the chips is often concentrated in just a few, very small areas: the so-called hotspots. Here it is possible for local heat flux densities of several kilowatts per cm² to occur. It is therefore essential for the heat to be  spread and removed from the semiconductors rapidly. This is a challenging task for our materials.

 

 

The coefficient of thermal expansion is another critical factor for all semiconductors. If the semiconductor and the base plate material expand and contract at different rates when exposed to changes in temperature then mechanical stresses arise. These may damage the semiconductor or impair the connection between the chip and the heat spreader. However, with our materials, you know you are in safe hands. Our materials have the optimum coefficient of thermal expansion for joining semiconductors and ceramics.

 

As semiconductor base plates, for example, our materials are used in wind turbines, trains and industrial applications. In power semiconductor modules for inverters (thyristors) and power diodes, they play a critical role. Why? Thanks to their optimum coefficient of thermal expansion and excellent thermal conductivity, semiconductor base plates form the strong base for the sensitive silicon semiconductor and ensure a module service life of over 30 years.

 

Heat spreaders and base plates made from molybdenum, tungsten, MoCu, WCu, Cu-Mo-Cu and Cu-MoCu-Cu laminates reliably dissipate the heat generated in electrical components. This both prevents the overheating of electrical devices and increases product lifetimes. Our heat spreaders help maintain a cool environment, for example, in IGBT modules, RF packages or LED chips. We have developed a very special MoCu composite material for the carrier plates in LED chips. This has a coefficient of thermal expansion similar to that of sapphire and ceramics.

 

We supply our products for the electronics industry with a variety of coatings. They protect the materials against corrosion and improve the solder connection between the semiconductor and our material.

 

Reliable heat sinks for your power semiconductors.

How our products improve the heat dissipation in electronic packages? Hiroki Yamada tells us in only 90 seconds.
Hiroki Yamada
Plansee Japan
hiroki.yamada@plansee.com
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