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Simplify LED thermal design with a new ceramic approach

Jan 28, 2019

The heat dissipation problem of LEDs will be the main factor limiting its future success in the market. Much of the research in the industry has focused on heat sinks, but there has been less research on the barrier between LEDs and heat sink surfaces. However, as long as we make some changes in design ideas and material usage, we can not only significantly improve thermal management performance and reliability, but also get a more simplified system. The use of ceramics as a heat sink, circuit carrier and part of the product design requires us to have some new modes of thinking and willingness to overcome traditional design patterns.

Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) based simulation processes support thermal optimization and product technology design. This article will explain the theoretical basis, proof of concept, and how to ultimately achieve these improvements with ceramic heat sinks.

As we all know, LEDs have high luminous efficiency, and they are also favored by designers because of their small size. But they are really "small" only when heat management is not considered. Although the operating temperature of an incandescent light source is as high as 2500 ° C, the LED light source temperature is much lower. Therefore, many designers finally realized that heat dissipation is a big problem. Although LEDs also generate heat, they are relatively low, so heat dissipation is not a problem for the LED itself. However, semiconductor devices that drive LEDs operate at operating temperatures below 100 °C.

According to the law of conservation of energy, thermal energy must be transferred to the surrounding area. The LED can only use a small temperature gap between the 100 °C hot spot and the 25 ° C ambient temperature, so only 75 Kelvin is available. As a result, a larger surface and thermal management is required.