Determining the Thermal Characteristics of Microelectronic Devices

FLIR Systems reports how researchers from the Microscale Thermophysics Laboratory at the University of Texas (Arlington, USA) are using FLIR thermal cameras to measure heat dissipation in three-dimensional integrated circuits (ICs).

The Microscale Thermophysics Laboratory conducts research on microscale thermal transport, energy conversion systems, semiconductor thermal management, bioheat transfer and related topics. Heat dissipation in three-dimensional integrated circuits (ICs) is a significant technological challenge, and has impeded the wide adoption of this technology despite a tremendous amount of research in past decade or two.

To measure the temperature on microelectronic devices, researchers at the Microscale Thermophysics Laboratory have traditionally used a wide variety of techniques, including thermocouples. A main challenge with this technique is that thermocouples only measure temperature values at a single point. For a more complete, and visual, picture of the temperature field, the team decided to use thermal imaging cameras from FLIR. Designed for applications including electronics inspection, the FLIR A6700 Series thermal imaging camera has proven ideal for capturing high-speed thermal events and fast-moving targets. Short exposure times have allowed users to freeze motion and achieve accurate temperature measurements. The camera’s image output can be windowed to increase frame rates to 480 frames per second which has enabled the researchers to accurately characterize even higher speed thermal events, helping ensure critical data doesn’t get missed during testing.

Thermal phenomena in devices of interest to us occur very rapidly, and we need full field information as opposed to single-point measurements”. He added “The FLIR A6703sc has helped us during our experiments, because the camera presents us with very fine details of the device being measured.

Dr Ankur Jain, Head of the Research Group, Microscale Thermophysics Laboratory

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