Circuit designs for electronic devices such as televisions, radios, computers, medical instruments, business machines, and communications equipment have become increasingly smaller and thinner over time. The increasing power of such electronic components has resulted in increased heat generation during use. Moreover, smaller electronic components are being densely packed into smaller spaces, resulting in more intense heat generation with increased hot-spot temperatures. At the same time, temperature-sensitive elements in electronic devices may need to be maintained within a prescribed operating temperature in order to avoid significant performance degradation or even system failure. 
Technology Overview
In this invention, Northeastern University researchers found that thermal interfaces can be obtained by aligning coated magnetic, thermally conductive particles (also referred as particles or coated particles) in composites using both magnetic and vibrational means, where the vibrational forces are applied in either all three of the X-, Y-, and Z-directions or only the Z-direction. The coated conductive particles are non-spherical in shape and either contain or are coated with a magnetic or superparamagnetic nanoparticles, preferably having nanoparticles that contain iron. The coated conductive particles are combined with a flowable matrix composition such as a flowable polymer or prepolymer composition and are then formed into a shape having a first surface and another opposing second surface. The aligning subjects the flowable composite (having a shape) to a rotating magnetic field and a vibrational force, followed by solidification of the flowable matrix composition to provide a thermal interface. The thermal interface can then be used directly in an electronic device or further shaped. 
- Improved thermal conductivity
- Improved mechanical properties 
- Improved heat transfer efficiency 
- Electronic devices
- License
- Research collaboration
- Partnering
Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Mark Saulich
Associate Director of Commercialization
Northeastern University
Randall Erb
Anvesh Gurijala
Li Zhang
Anvesh Gurijala
Qiaochu Han