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Thermal Interface Materials at a Glance

SEMIKRON was the first power module manufacturer on the market to offer power modules with a pre-applied thermal interface material. With more than two decades of field experience and more than 12 million pre-printed modules in the field, new reliability benchmarks are being set.

Different application requirements, environmental conditionsand production processes call for different thermal interface materials.

For each requirement SEMIKRON offers the right choice of material. In addition to the standard silicone thermal grease, a phase change material and high performance thermal paste with improved thermal performance are also available. A thermal grease or a phase change material is recommended for the given customer needs for handling and module performance as well as module type (baseplate, baseplate-less).

Phase change materials with a rigid consistency at room temperatures can fully exploit the advantages that a non-smearing TIM layer offers on modules without any other drawbacks. Modules with no baseplate, on the other hand, usually require a lower-viscosity material to help improve robustness during assembly. Here, thermal grease is the preferred solution.

Advantages of modules applied using SEMIKRON’s automated silk screen and stencil process:

  • Increased productivity thanks to reduced handling costs and improved logistics
  • Low thermal resistance with optimised TIM layer thickness
  • Improved lifetime and reliability
  • Improved assembly robustness
  • Modules can be shipped directly to the assembly line without any additional treatment processes
  • Lower overall costs
Thermal interface materials for modules with and without baseplates

High Performance Thermal Paste

Outstanding thermal performance and lifetime increase

Outstanding thermal performance and increased lifetime

High Performance Thermal Paste is the new SEMIKRON solution for boosting the performance of baseplate-less modules. The material is a silicone-based thermal grease with outstanding thermal conductivity. Replacing standard TIM materials with High Performance Thermal Paste results in either a lower chip temperature and therefore longer power module lifetime, or it allows for higher output currents in the given application. Any combination of both benefits, longer life time and higher output current, is possible with small trade-offs.

A print layout developed individually for each module ensures high assembly robustness and means the client can always use the same assembly process irrespective of the type of thermal grease used.

Thermal Paste Key Features

  • Outstanding thermal performance
  • Up to 50% lower chip-to-heat sink thermal resistance than with standard TIM
  • Up to 25% more module output power or up to several decades more lifetime
  • Fewer manufacturing processes and lower material costs
  • No need for expensive ceramic substrates such as aluminium nitride
  • Excellent assembly robustness for modules without baseplate
  • Proven long-term reliability without pump-out

Phase Change Material

Baseplate bending for SEMiX Press-Fit

Easier handling thanks to the dry contact surface

The rigid and dry TIM layer ensures that accidental touching does not lead to any damage in the print pattern. For each module package size, a specific print pattern layout is developed in accordance with the intentional baseplate bending. This layout ensures metal-to-metal contact between selected areas of the module baseplate and the heat sink. Only the cavities (baseplate bending and the heatsink roughness) are filled with thermal interface material. This approach has two main advantages:

  • Thermal resistance Rth(j-s) is optimised
  • No screw retightening required after first operation

Phase Change Material Key Features

  • Easy handling thanks to solid contact surfaces, no TIM layer smearing
  • Optimised thickness for minimum thermal resistance
  • No screw retightening required after first operation
  • Up to 15% lower chip-to-heat sink thermal resistance than with standard TIM

Thermal Interface Materials

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Thermal GreasePhase Change Material
Module familiySilicone-based
Standard Grease
High Performance Thermal Paste,
HPTP (silicone-based)
MiniSKiiP Gen. II 0-3XX-
MiniSKiiP 8XX-
MiniSKiiP 2/3 DualXX-
SKiM 63/93XX-
SKiM 4XX-
SKiM 5-X-
SEMITOP 3/4XX-
SEMITOP E2-XX
SEMiX 1s-4s--X
SEMiX 13--X
SEMiX 33--X
SEMiX 3 Press-Fit--X
SEMiX 5--X
SEMITRANS 2--X
SEMITRANS 3/4--X
SEMITRANS 10--X
SEMIPACK 2--X