EMI Considerations in Selecting Heat-Sink-Thermal-Gasket Materials
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Specific design criteria are proposed to mitigate radiated emissions from a resonant enclosure excited by a heat sink acting as a microstrip patch antenna source. In this particular application, the EMI mechanism is assumed to be due to coupling from the dominant TM 010 x mode to one or more resonant modes associated with the enclosure dimensions. The enclosure is then presumed to radiate, at the enclosure resonance frequencies, through one or more apertures, slots, or seams. The EMI-reduction strategy consists of shifting the resonant frequency of the dominant-patch antenna mode by dielectrically loading the patch antenna with thermal-gasket material having a specified electric permittivity. Specific formulas and graphs are presented showing how to select the electric permittivity of the thermal-gasket material in order to obtain a given frequency shift. A comparison of experimental measurements with the predictions of the design criteria indicates that frequency shifts of up to approximately three times the bandwidth of the patch resonance can be predicted with reasonable accuracy. In at least two different commercial products that we are aware of, changing the electrically insulating heat sink gasket materials has solved specific radiated EMI problems.