skip to main content

Title: Thermomechanical Topology Optimization of Three-Dimensional Heat Guiding Structures for Electronics Packaging
Abstract Heterogeneous and complex electronic packages may require unique thermomechanical structures to provide optimal heat guiding. In particular, when a heat source and a heat sink are not aligned and do not allow a direct path, conventional thermal management methods providing uniform heat dissipation may not be appropriate. Here we present a topology optimization method to find thermally conductive and mechanically stable structures for optimal heat guiding under various heat source-sink arrangements. To exploit the capabilities, we consider complex heat guiding scenarios and three-dimensional (3D) serpentine structures to carry the heat with corner angles ranging from 30 deg to 90 deg. While the thermal objective function is defined to minimize the temperature gradient, the mechanical objective function is defined to maximize the stiffness with a volume constraint. Our simulations show that the optimized structures can have a thermal resistance of less than 32% and stiffness greater than 43% compared to reference structures with no topology optimization at an identical volume fraction. The significant difference in thermal resistance is attributed to a thermally dead volume near the sharp corners. As a proof-of-concept experiment, we have created 3D heat guiding structures using a selective laser melting technique and characterized their thermal properties more » using an infrared thermography technique. The experiment shows the thermal resistance of the thermally optimized structure is 29% less than that of the reference structure. These results present the unique capabilities of topology optimization and 3D manufacturing in enabling optimal heat guiding for heterogeneous systems and advancing the state-of-the-art in electronics packaging. « less
; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Journal of Electronic Packaging
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract Thermal metamaterials exhibit thermal properties that do not exist in nature but can be rationally designed to offer unique capabilities of controlling heat transfer. Recent advances have demonstrated successful manipulation of conductive heat transfer and led to novel heat guiding structures such as thermal cloaks, concentrators, etc. These advances imply new opportunities to guide heat transfer in complex systems and new packaging approaches as related to thermal management of electronics. Such aspects are important, as trends of electronics packaging toward higher power, higher density, and 2.5D/3D integration are making thermal management even more challenging. While conventional cooling solutions based on large thermal-conductivity materials as well as heat pipes and heat exchangers may dissipate the heat from a source to a sink in a uniform manner, thermal metamaterials could help dissipate the heat in a deterministic manner and avoid thermal crosstalk and local hot spots. This paper reviews recent advances of thermal metamaterials that are potentially relevant to electronics packaging. While providing an overview of the state-of-the-art and critical 2.5D/3D-integrated packaging challenges, this paper also discusses the implications of thermal metamaterials for the future of electronic packaging thermal management. Thermal metamaterials could provide a solution to nontrivial thermal management challenges.more »Future research will need to take on the new challenges in implementing the thermal metamaterial designs in high-performance heterogeneous packages to continue to advance the state-of-the-art in electronics packaging.« less
  2. This paper proposes a density-based topology optimization scheme to design a heat sink for the application of a 3D integrated SIC-based 75 kVA Intelligent Power Stage (IPS). The heat sink design considers the heat conduction and convection effects with forced air cooling. The objective function is to minimize the thermal compliance of the whole structure. A volume constraint is imposed to reduce the overall volume of the designed heat sink to make it conformal to the underlying power devices. Some numerical techniques like filtering and projection schemes are employed to render a crisp design. Some 2D benchmarks examples are first provided to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method. Then a 3D heat sink, especially designed for the 3D IPS, is topologically optimized. The classic tree-like structure is reproduced to reinforce the convection effect. Some comparisons with the intuitive baseline designs are made through numerical simulation. The optimized heat sinks are shown to provide a more efficient cooling performance for the 3D integrated power converter assembly.
  3. Thermal metamaterials are gaining increasing popularity, especially for heat flux manipulation purposes. However, due to the high anisotropy of the structures resulting from the transformation thermotics or scattering cancellation methods, researchers are resorting to topology optimization as an alternative to find the optimal distribution of constituent bulk materials to realize a specific thermal function. This paper proposes to design a thermal cloak using the level-set-based shape and topology optimization. The thermal cloak design is considered in the context of pure heat conduction. The cloaking effect is achieved by reproducing the reference temperature field through the optimal distribution of two thermally conductive materials. The structural boundary is evolved by solving the Hamilton-Jacobi equation. The feasibility and validity of the proposed method to design thermal meta-devices with cloaking functionality are demonstrated through two numerical examples. The optimized structures have clear boundaries between constituent materials and do not exhibit thermal anisotropy, making it easier for physical realization. The first example deals with a circular cloaking region as a benchmark design. The robustness of the proposed method against various cloaking regions is illustrated by the second example concerning a human-shaped cloaking area. This work can inspire a broader exploration of the thermal meta-device inmore »the heat flux manipulation regime.« less
  4. In this paper, the authors propose a new dimension reduction method for level-set-based topology optimization of conforming thermal structures on free-form surfaces. Both the Hamilton-Jacobi equation and the Laplace equation, which are the two governing PDEs for boundary evolution and thermal conduction, are transformed from the 3D manifold to the 2D rectangular domain using conformal parameterization. The new method can significantly simplify the computation of topology optimization on a manifold without loss of accuracy. This is achieved due to the fact that the covariant derivatives on the manifold can be represented by the Euclidean gradient operators multiplied by a scalar with the conformal mapping. The original governing equations defined on the 3D manifold can now be properly modified and solved on a 2D domain. The objective function, constraint, and velocity field are also equivalently computed with the FEA on the 2D parameter domain with the properly modified form. In this sense, we are solving a 3D topology optimization problem equivalently on the 2D parameter domain. This reduction in dimension can greatly reduce the computing cost and complexity of the algorithm. The proposed concept is proved through two examples of heat conduction on manifolds.
  5. Abstract

    The development of cryogenic semiconductor electronics and superconducting quantum computing requires composite materials that can provide both thermal conduction and thermal insulation. We demonstrated that at cryogenic temperatures, the thermal conductivity of graphene composites can be both higher and lower than that of the reference pristine epoxy, depending on the graphene filler loading and temperature. There exists a well-defined cross-over temperature—above it, the thermal conductivity of composites increases with the addition of graphene; below it, the thermal conductivity decreases with the addition of graphene. The counter-intuitive trend was explained by the specificity of heat conduction at low temperatures: graphene fillers can serve as, both, the scattering centers for phonons in the matrix material and as the conduits of heat. We offer a physical model that explains the experimental trends by the increasing effect of the thermal boundary resistance at cryogenic temperatures and the anomalous thermal percolation threshold, which becomes temperature dependent. The obtained results suggest the possibility of using graphene composites for, both, removing the heat and thermally insulating components at cryogenic temperatures—a capability important for quantum computing and cryogenically cooled conventional electronics.