Boron Nitride Nanotube Composites for Pliable Thermal Interface Material
Navy SBIR FY2018.1

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2018.1
Topic No.: N181-078
Topic Title: Boron Nitride Nanotube Composites for Pliable Thermal Interface Material
Proposal No.: N181-078-1073
Firm: Mainstream Engineering Corporation
200 Yellow Place
Pines Industrial Center
Rockledge, Florida 32955
Contact: Michael Cutbirth
Phone: (321) 631-3550
Web Site:
Abstract: For this research program, Mainstream will develop a nanocomposite thermal interface material (TIM) combining the benefits of boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs) and cellulose nanofiber (CNF) for use with Navy-relevant power conversion components. The overall goal of the SBIR program is to develop a usable product with the following characteristics: robust to vibration and abrasion, non-permanent bonding, high dielectric strength, and high thermal conductance. Our approach will yield a conformable TIM with a thermal conductivity >20 W/m2-K and dielectric constant 1 mm) without degradation of performance. For the Phase I Base effort, we will produce, characterize, and demonstrate BNNT/CNF TIMs with thermal footprints as large as 8 cm2. The Phase II will focus of refinement of production, scalability, and evaluation using military standard test procedures as well as development of a thermal paste based upon the composition identified during the Phase I effort.
Benefits: With the advent of solid-state electronics, manufacturers have continued to increase power outputs while decreasing size yielding a substantial increase in the power density. Poor thermal management of these systems leads to more than 55% of electronic failures with said failure rate increasing exponentially with increasing junction temperature. Our approach will deliver a highly compliant, reworkable thermal interface material (TIM) that is tolerant to gap size with a thermal conductance and electrical resistance meeting Navy specifications. In addition to military power conversion systems, the developed TIM will find relevance to almost all industries including the computer, automotive, semiconductor, and aerospace fields with applications in computer integrated circuitry, lasers, LED lighting, and photovoltaics.