Emerging nanotechnology-based thermal interface materials for automotive electronic control unit application

K. C. Otiaba, N. N. Ekere, R. S. Bhatti, S. Mallik, E. H. Amalu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The under-hood automotive ambient is harsh and its impact on electronics used in electronic control unit (ECU) assembly is a concern. The introduction of Euro 6 standard (Latest European Union Legislation) leading to increase in power density of power electronics in ECU has even amplified the device thermal challenge. Heat generated within the unit coupled with ambient temperature makes the system reliability susceptible to thermal degradation which may result in catastrophic failure if not efficiently dissipated. Previous investigations show that the technology of thermal interface materials (TIMs) is a key to achieving good heat conductions within a package and from a package to heat sinking device. With studies suggesting that conventional TIMs contribute about 60% interfacial thermal resistance, innovative technology is required to improve the thermal performance of TIMs. A review of emerging nanotechnology in TIMs shows that carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and carbon nanofibres (CNFs) when used as the structure of TIM or TIM filler could improve the overall thermal and mechanical properties of TIMs. Hence, CNTs/CNFs have the potentials to advance thermal management issues in ECU. This search identifies chemical vapour deposition (CVD) as a low cost process for the commercial production of CNTs. In addition, this review further highlights the capability of CVD to grow nanotubes directly on a desired substrate. Other low temperature techniques of growing CNT on sensitive substrates are also presented in this paper.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEMPC-2011 - 18th European Microelectronics and Packaging Conference, Proceedings
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2011
Event18th European Microelectronics and Packaging Conference - Brighton, United Kingdom
Duration: 12 Sept 201115 Sept 2011


Conference18th European Microelectronics and Packaging Conference
Abbreviated titleEMPC-2011
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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