Percolation theory applied to study the effect of shape and size of the filler particles in thermal interface materials

Amit Devpura, Patrick Phelan, Ravi S. Prasher

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

16 Scopus citations


An important aspect in electronic packaging is the heat dissipation. Flip-chip technology is widely being used to increase the rate of heat transfer from the chip. A method to further enhance the thermal conductivity is by the use of a thermal interface material between the device and the heat sink attached to it in the flip-chip technology. Percolation theory holds a key to understanding the behavior of thermal interface materials. Percolation, used widely in electrical engineering, is a physical phenomenon in which the highly conducting particles distributed randomly in the matrix form at least one continuous chain connecting the opposite faces of the matrix. This phenomenon was simulated using the matrix method, to study the effect of different shapes and size of the filler particles. The different shapes considered were spherical, vertical or horizontal rods, and flakes in horizontal or vertical orientation. The effect of the size of these particles was also examined. The results indicate that the composites with particles having the largest side in the direction of heat flow will always have a better conductivity than the particles oriented normal to it. Also, from the results, we can choose the best filler size in the composite if we know the filler concentration we are aiming at.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers, Heat Transfer Division, (Publication) HTD
Number of pages7
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Mechanical Engineering


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