Thermal Interface
Materials (TIM)

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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 pre-applied thermal interface material. With more than two decades of field experience and more than 15 million pre-printed modules in the field, new reliability benchmarks are being set.

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

SEMIKRON offers the right choice of material for any requirement. In addition to the standard silicone thermal grease, phase change materials and a 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 with TIM 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 to boost 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 lower chip temperature and, consequently, 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 contact does not cause any damage to the print pattern. For each module package size, a specific print pattern layout is developed in accordance with the intentional baseplate bending.

  • Optimised thermal resistance Rth(j-s)
  • 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 familySilicone-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 5-X-
SEMiX 1s-4s--X
SEMiX 13--X
SEMiX 33--X
SEMiX 3 Press-Fit--X
SEMiX 5--X
SEMiX 6--X

Webinar: Learn how thermal interface materials work

Do you know why thermal interface materials have a critical role in power electronics applications? Join this webinar to learn how thermal interface materials work, how to choose the right material and how you can benefit from pre-applied materials in your application.

In the first part, the webinar explains the working principle of TIM. It presents and compares different materials. A special focus is set on optimizing the thermal interface material layer: the influence of material choice, layer thickness and printing pattern are discussed in detail. The webinar’s second part guides the user through the choice of the right material. It explains which material is used best for different power modules and how the user can benefit from pre-applied TIM on the power module.

Key Take-Aways

  • Discover the working principles of different thermal interface materials
  • Understand ways to optimize thermal interface materials’ performance
  • Learn about expected performance improvements
  • Find out the benefits of pre-applied thermal interface materials