High Frequency Circuit Materials With Increased Thermal Conductivity

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  • Author: John Coonrod and Allen F. Horn III
Thermal management has always been a major concern in the design of high frequency, high power electronic devices. Historically, in most power amplifier designs, the vast majority of the power dissipated is from the high power field effect transistors (FET) themselves. In these cases, the high power dissipation requires direct attachment of the FETs to a finned heat sink, or conduction through copper “coins” placed in areas where the polymer composite dielectric circuit substrate has been machined away. Direct connection is required because the dielectric material is two orders of magnitude lower in thermal conductivity than copper.