INDIUM Heatspring Thermal Compound Substitute

INDIUM Heatspring Thermal Compound Substitute View Large Image

Many applications call for TIM that can easily be placed on a chip, on a lid or perhaps just against a heat source and a cooling solution contact plate. We developed a metal TIM which would work as a compressible Interface Solution for such an application. Our pressure range is 35psi to 100+ psi.

An SMA-TIM made of indium offers uniform thermal resistance at lower applied stresses in compressed interfaces. The malleability of indium minimizes surface resistance and increases heat flow. Our patented Heat-Spring® technology will further reduce the thermal resistance.

Indium's line of high-end thermal interface materials delivers superior performance over time. As SMA-TIM products are made of metal, they cannot experience pump out problems even under power cycling. The Heat-Spring® material, which does not contain silicone, will conform to surface disparities over time, thereby reducing thermal resistance through the life of the TIM. Due to its solid state, the SMA-TIM also resists bake out.

Thermal interface materials are useful for a variety of applications, but solder thermal interface materials (sTIM) are especially suited to high-end device cooling. To improve package reliability, it is especially important to choose the right alloy. Indium, in particular, should be considered as a sTIM because of its high thermal conductivity, compressibility (SMA-TIM), and ease of application.


Indium Preforms may be used in a variety of processes.

• Compressed Between Two Surfaces Without Reflow: (SMA-TIM) Soft Metal Alloy-TIM/. The extreme malleability of indium allows it to minimize surface resistance – thereby increasing heat flow. The graph below demonstrates this phenomenon.

• Soldered Between Two Surfaces: (sTIM) Solder-TIM. Used to further improve thermal resistance, this application may require the use of a flux to reduce oxides on soldering surfaces.

• Cold-Welding: Another process that is used to create a thermal interface involves reflowing indium preforms onto each solderable surface. The indium-coated surfaces should be cleaned and pressed together to form a fluxless cold-weld solder joint. (See the Application Note: Etching Indium to Remove Oxides for more information about this process.)

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