ADA Technologies, Inc. received a $100,000 contract from the U.S. Air Force for Phase I research into the development of improved thermal interface materials (TIM) for use in microchips.
Thermal management is a limiting factor in further reduction of microchip size, as well as in the design of more complicated circuits for a variety of applications, including solid state tactical lasers, non-lethal denial technologies, and power metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs).
ADA’s research focuses on developing uniquely treated carbon nanotubes (CNTs) dispersed in a polymer. The research addresses the challenge of interfacial resistance between CNTs and mating surfaces, resulting in higher performing and lower cost TIMs, in comparison to current state-of-the-art.
According to Sayangdev Naha, Ph.D., project principal investigator, “ADA’s approach will enable a TIM with much greater bulk thermal conductivity, a high degree of mechanical compliance and at costs projected to be substantially lower than current state-of-the-art CNT-based TIMs. Thus, the commercial potential of the proposed technology is considerable.”
ADA’s nanotechnology program was established in 2007 and to date has received over $2M in funding.