PORTLAND, Ore. A new family of phase-changing thermal management material from Honeywell is claimed to improve the lifespan of light-emitting diode (LED) arrays used for display backlights and solid-state lighting, by changing phase during use to more efficienty transfer heat away from devices.
Called Honeywell LTM6300-SP, the phase-changing material replaces traditional silicone-based pastes which pump out and degrade at high temperatures, with a polymer matrix embedded with thermally conductive metals.
"Honeywell's new thermal management material enhances the performance of energy efficient LEDs--extending their lifetimes and making sure their colors do not become muted due to overheating," said Brian Daniels, Chief Technology Officer for Honeywell Electronic Materials (HEM).
"Since they are semiconductors, high-power LED arrays require a thermal management material that actively responds to heat build up, which LTM6300-SP does by changing phase," he said.
The new material is the first in a family of phase change materials being developed by HEM the growing LED lighting applications, including street lamps, automotive lighting, flat panel TV displays and computer monitors.
The key to HEM's new family of thermal management materials is its controlled phase changing in response to heat from a solid to a softer liquid-like state, which enhances thermal conductivity as heat increases. As a result, damaging heat that could dim LEDs prematurely, shift their color spectrum or cause them to burn out, is conducted away from the semiconductors at a rate that increases as tempertures rise.
The LTM6300-SP polymer supports a matrix that is filled with thermally conducting metal particles in the micron range. Honeywell is not revealing their exact dimensions or range of sizes, though, in order to maintain the competitive advantage of their new family of thermal management materials.
The principle, however, is that as the material softens in response to heat, more of the metal particles are forced to directly contact the LED heat source, and to transfer that heat through the material, thereby enhancing thermal conductivity.
Honeywell's LTM6300-SP phase change material is supplied in a screen-printable paste.