Indium Corporation Technical Manager for Europe, Africa, and the Middle East Karthik Vijay will present a technical paper on January 31 at IMAPS France – 17th European Advanced Technology Workshop on Micropackaging and Thermal Management in La Rochelle, France.

The presentation, titled Low-Melt Alloy Technology for Use as a Thermal Interface Material, will focus on alloys that are liquid at or near room temperature and how innovations around these alloys are making them viable for a wider range of applications. Metal thermal interface materials have played a niche role in thermal applications for many years. Since metals have high bulk thermal conductivity, they have the potential to be a high performing thermal interface material (TIM). As such, metals are used in several ways, such as a solder, compressible pad, liquid metal, phase change material, and solid/liquid hybrids.

As the electronics industry drives more functionality and power through its semiconductor devices, widely used thermal greases and phase change materials are reaching their functional limits. This is driving more interest in metal-based TIMs. Based on current use of metal TIMs, it is clear that low melting point alloys that are liquid at or near room temperature possess several attributes that could make them viable in a wider range of applications compared to other metal TIM options. Unfortunately, these metals have typically been limited by some significant shortcomings, including their inability to withstand harsh thermal cycling conditions and a tendency to pump-out or leak during operation and power cycling.

“Through the development of new alloys and optimized processes, the presentation will share how these challenges can be overcome,” said Vijay. “By overcoming these limitations, low-melt alloy TIMs can have a broad applicability in both TIM1 and TIM2 applications where high heat dissipation is required.”    

Vijay heads the applications engineering team for customers in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. His expertise is in automotive, industrial, and RF applications involving PCBA and power electronics with a focus on the use of different material sets, including solder preforms, solder paste, thermal interface materials, and semiconductor-grade electronics materials. He has more than 20 years of experience in electronics assembly and a master’s degree in industrial engineering with a specialization in electronics packaging and manufacturing from the State University of New York, Binghamton. He is a Certified SMT Process Engineer and earned his Six Sigma Green Belt certification from Dartmouth College’s Thayer School of Engineering. Vijay is active in several industry organizations, including IMAPS and SMTA, and has presented at several industry forums and conferences nationally and internationally.

About Indium Corporation

Indium Corporation® is a premier materials refiner, smelter, manufacturer, and supplier to the global electronics, semiconductor, thin-film, and thermal management markets. Products include solders and fluxes; brazes; thermal interface materials; sputtering targets; indium, gallium, germanium, and tin metals and inorganic compounds; and NanoFoil®. Founded in 1934, the company has global technical support and factories located in China, Germany, India, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the U.S.

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