Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Rishi Raj

Second Advisor

Conrad Stoldt

Third Advisor

Aziz Abdulagatov


Indium and copper react at wide range of temperatures to form intermetallic compounds that have different physical, mechanical and thermal properties. Liquid Phase Sintered indium-copper composite long-term performance as thermal interface material is adversely affected by the evolution of the intermetallic. In this study, i) the effect of intermetallic formation and growth on the performance of Liquid Phase Sintered copper-indium composite, ii) the effect of alumina as diffusion barrier between indium and copper, (iii) thermal stability and wettability between indium and alumina, iv) the indium and quartz wettability, v) indium and tungsten oxide wettability have been studied. Deleterious effect of the intermetallic formation and growth on the thermal and mechanical properties has been observed. 5nm of alumina deposited by Atomic Layer Deposition on flat copper surface has been optimized to prevent diffusion process between indium and copper at 120C. 15nm of alumina prevented the reaction at 230C. Instability of indium thin film thermally deposited on sapphire substrate was observed. Also, decrease in the sintering density of indium-alumina composite with increasing temperature was observed. The dewetting contact angle between liquid indium and sapphire was ~127o. The wetting experiments between indium and different oxides showed that indium wets tungsten oxide and quartz.