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Thermal Characterization Laboratory

The Thermal Characterization Laboratory covers all aspects concerning experimentation in thermal management, local electro-thermal characterization, and reliability/ruggedness studies addressed in IMB-CNM’s Power Systems Integration and Reliability research sub-line. In addition, these activities could find synergies with other fields dealing with the electro-thermal characterization in the nano-microelectronic scenario.

Main activities

In this framework, the main activities of the Thermal Characterization Laboratory aim at:

  • Thermal management design and assessment at system level of power devices or systems (thermal conductivity extraction, temperature measurement for simulation assessment),
  • Thermal characterization of packaged devices and systems (thermal impedance and resistance extraction);
  • Local electro-thermal characterization at die level (applicable to low power integrated systems, e.g. Systems-on-Chip)
  1. Optical methods for depth-resolved characterization at chip level: Free-Carrier Absorption, Internal IR Laser Deflection, Fabry-Perot Interference,
  2. Surface-resolved electro-thermal characterization: IR thermography, Liquid crystal thermography, CCD-thermo-reflectance thermography.
  • Debugging and design for ruggedness of new devices and monitoring electrical and thermal performances degradation due to ageing or overloading events:
  1. Location of physical failure signatures at die level,
  2. Thermal performances degradation due to packaging ageing, local electrical degradation of the device.
  3. Study of modulated heat sources by lock-in detection for non-invasive evaluation of structural defaults, extraction of Figures of Merit in Frequency (FOMs) from IC/device internal nodes, and local physical parameters in devices


  • Analysis of thermal behavior of power devices and systems (hot-spots, thermal coupling, reliability, modeling, etc.), using specific thermography techniques (IR detection, CCD-thermo-reflectance, or Fabry-Perot interferometry).           
  • Thermal parameters extraction systems for integrated power systems thermal management (modules, substrates, modeling, simulation parameters, etc.): material thermal conductivity and packaged devices thermal impedance and resistance measurements.
  • Analysis of electro-thermal behavior at device level ("hot-spots", reliability, carrier lifetime, modeling, etc.) using techniques based on optical deflection (IIR-LD), absorption (FCA) and interferometer (FPI) of an IR laser beam.
  • Failure signature location and microelectronic systems debugging by sensing thermal fields.



  • Infrared Thermography measurement equipment
  1. Infrared camera FLIR SC5500 in optical bench
  2. Infrared camera AGEMA Thermovision THV-900
  3. Macroscopic and microscopic lenses (minimum spatial resolution 6 µm)
  4. Lock-in thermography set-up
  • Depth-resolved Electro-thermal characterization
  1. Measurement of internal temperature and free carrier concentration, as well as their gradients
  • Thermo-reflectance thermography system
  1. High spatial resolution thermography
  • Thermal conductivity measurement system
  1. KTH measurement of materials involved in power packages
  • Thermal resistance/impedance measurement system
  1. Measurement of RTH / ZTH using thermo sensitive parameters

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