AES Semigas


18 March 2024

Laser Thermal awarded DoD Phase I STTR contract

Laser Thermal of Charlottesville, VA, USA (which was spun off from University of Virginia in 2020 and designs and makes metrology equipment and provides services for thermal property measurement down to nanometer scales) says that the US Department of Defense (DoD) Office of the Secretary of Defense – Basic Research Office (OSD-BRO) has awarded it a Phase I Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) contract to develop advanced thermal metrology technology for use with high-thermal-conductivity materials and interfaces. The Phase I program period of performance is six months, with an additional six-month option extending until February 2025.

Wide-bandgap (WBG) and ultra-wide-bandgap (UWBG) materials and devices include high-thermal-conductivity materials and interfaces with pertinent resistances spanning nano- to sub-millimeter length scales. Characterization of these materials with a single platform is challenging and there are limited available commercial options, says Laser Thermal. Most methods require a high degree of user knowledge in advanced optics and physics, for both instrumentation and analysis, and are traditionally only found in academic institutions and national labs. Laser Thermal says that the current and next generation of horizontal and vertical high-power devices and packages will benefit from commercially viable measurement systems to characterize:

  • high-thermal-conductivity materials;
  • thermal interface resistances;
  • sub-surface films, interfaces, heat-sinks etc;
  • temperature-dependent properties;
  • spatially varying thermal resistances with areal length scales on the order of contacts and depth resolution on order of device layers;
  • measurements in operando.

The results of the OSD-BRO STTR program will enable the design and manufacture of a high-power-density steady-state thermoreflectance (SSTR) tool for high-thermal-conductivity materials such as isotopically pure diamond. It will have integrated temperature testing and electrical probing for temperature-dependent property measurement and testing of devices in operando. The new high-power SSTR system will enable variable depth sensitivity, spatial mapping and automated thermal property fitting across these temperature and applied external field capabilities. The new tool is expected to dramatically increase ease of use for both data acquisition and, particularly, data analysis, allowing users to understand the most important use cases for temperature testing, electrical biasing, and thermal mapping.

Tags: Metrology



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