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Effects of Surface Roughness and Oxide Layer on the Thermal Boundary Conductance at Aluminum/Silicon Interfaces

[+] Author Affiliations
Patrick E. Hopkins, Leslie M. Phinney, Justin R. Serrano, Thomas E. Beechem

Sandia National Labs, Albuquerque, NM

Paper No. IHTC14-22268, pp. 313-319; 7 pages
  • 2010 14th International Heat Transfer Conference
  • 2010 14th International Heat Transfer Conference, Volume 6
  • Washington, DC, USA, August 8–13, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4941-5 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3879-2
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


Thermal boundary resistance dominates the thermal resistance in nanosystems since material length scales are comparable to material mean free paths. The primary scattering mechanism in nanosystems is interface scattering, and the structure and composition around these interfaces can affect scattering rates and, therefore, device thermal resistances. In this work, the thermal boundary conductance (the inverse of the thermal boundary resistance) is measured using a pump-probe thermoreflectance technique on aluminum films grown on silicon substrates that are subjected to various pre-Al-deposition surface treatments. The Si surfaces are characterized with Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) to determine mean surface roughness. The measured thermal boundary conductance decreases as Si surface roughness increases. In addition, stripping the native oxide layer on the surface of the Si substrate immediately prior to Al film deposition causes the thermal boundary conductance to increase. The measured data are then compared to an extension of the diffuse mismatch model that accounts for interfacial mixing and structure around the interface.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME



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