There are a number of applications in electronics where the thermal management or the cooling of electronic components is a big problem. Especially in the area of space applications, there are a number of components where efficient cooling is required to get the best performance out of the modules.
Efficient cooling is also directly related to an improvement in the life time and the reliability of the components. One example are GaN semiconductor based electronic devices which will have a great future due to their exceptional electrical characteristics. The European Space Agency ESA is currently considering GaN technology as strategically important and therefore a goal is to establish a European manufacturing chain.
A group of materials that can be used for efficient cooling of such devices are Metal Diamond Composites. These materials are characterized by a high thermal conductivity and low coefficient of thermal expansion and therefore they are very interesting for the cooling of GaN-based electronic modules.
Based on the activities of RHP in the production of metal-diamond materials for ground applications, the main task of this project is to develop materials and processes in such a way that they meet the requirements to be used in electronic components which are used in space. This requires both, a systematic tailoring and optimisation of material properties and the testing of metal-diamond heat sink materials under space-relevant conditions.
In case RHP is able to fulfill this task successfully there is a unique chance for RHP to become a manufacturer and supplier of metal diamond materials for thermal management of electronics which used in space. This project starts at a TRL of around 3 and aims to reach 4-5 at the end of the project.
Austrian Research Center