Skip to Main Content
Materials with high thermal conductivity and thermal expansion coefficient matching with that of Si or GaAs are being used for packaging high density microcircuits due to their ability of faster heat dissipation. Al/SiC is gaining wide acceptance as electronic packaging material due to the fact that its thermal expansion coefficient can be tailored to match with that of Si or GaAs by varying the Al:SiC ratio while maintaining the thermal conductivity more or less the same. In the present work, Al/SiC microwave integrated circuit (MIC) carriers have been fabricated by pressureless infiltration of Al-alloy into porous SiC preforms in air. This new technique provides a cheaper alternative to pressure infiltration or pressureless infiltration in nitrogen in producing Al/SiC composites for electronic packaging applications. Al-alloy/65vol% SiC composite exhibited a coefficient of thermal expansion of 7×10-6 K-1 (25°C-100°C) and a thermal conductivity of 147 Wm-1K-1 at 30°C. The hysteresis observed in thermal expansion coefficient of the composite in the temperature range 100°C-400°C has been attributed to the presence of thermal residual stresses in the composite. Thermal diffusivity of the composite measured over the temperature range from 30°C to 400°C showed a 55% decrease in thermal diffusivity with temperature. Such a large decrease in thermal diffusivity with temperature could be due to the presence of micropores, microcracks, and decohesion of the Al/SiC interfaces in the microstructure (all formed during cooling from the processing temperature). The carrier showed satisfactory performance after integrating it into a MIC.