Methods of Analyzing the Effects of Heat within and On Devices through Thermal Analysis

One of the primary goals of all engineers as far the semiconductor industry is concerned, has been to miniaturize the components as much as possible because this directly affects and in fact, lowers the costs of electronics and allows engineers to build smaller, more compact and efficient machines. However as it is with everything else within this world, there is a tradeoff. Miniaturizing of components ultimately leads to increased dissipation of power per unit which plays a key part in limiting integrated circuit performance. As the temperature rises within a device, it can become effective to small cross section wires which can lead to abnormal semiconductor behavior. Apart from this, it is a well understood concept that the generation of heat is directly proportional to the level of operations for any switching circuits, which basically means that faster machines such as computers has much more heat generation than slower computers. This is a major problem for manufacturers. In order to ascertain that any device is able to cope with random temperatures and to fix the levels of temperatures that the devices will remain function, detailed thermal simulations and thermal analysis are performed during production.

Analysis of desired and required Temperatures
Thermal simulations are the techniques which are used by engineers to perform in-depth temperature analysis of any device during any point of its production life cycle. Thermal Analysis is performed majorly to determine the temperatures at which the device will remain functional and at which temperatures the device will falter and burn out. Another aspect and use of these calculation is the determination of the generated heat and the transfer of that heat within a device among its different components and its dissipation into it environment. One of the major function of this study is to also determine the desired and undesired temperatures of different materials that are used in the construction of a device.

Types of Thermal Analysis
There are a number of ways in which devices, product, machines and entire systems are thermally analyzed.

• Dielectric thermal analysis (DEA):An Oscillating Electric field is used using two electrodes. The sample that needs to be thermally analysed is placed between the two electrodes and a voltage is sent to one of them. The resulting sinusoidal current is measured at the other electrode.

• Differential thermal analysis (DTA):In this method, the component that needs to be tested is measured for temperature changes against a standard reference under the same tests and conditions.

• Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC): In this method, the difference in heat thatis required to increase the temperature in a material is measured using a standard reference.

• Dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA):In this method the mechanical stiffness and damping of a material is calculated when stress is applied.

• Evolved gas analysis (EGA):in this method the gases that are evolved through heated materials and samples are studied.

• Laser flash analysis (LFA):An energy pulse heats one side of a plane-parallel sample. The temperature increases on the backside due to the energy input is detected which is dependent on time. The higher the thermal diffusivity of the sample, the quicker the energy reaches the backside.

• Thermo gravimetric analysis (TGA):The changes in the physical and chemical properties of a material in correlation with increasing temperatures are studied.

• Thermo mechanical analysis (TMA):This is the technique in which the physical changes that evolve within in a material due to excessive heat are studied.