A process for fabricating a composite material such as that having high thermal conductivity and having specific application as a heat sink or heat spreader for high density integrated circuits. The composite material produced by this process has a thermal conductivity between that of diamond and copper, and basically consists of coated diamond particles dispersed in a high conductivity metal, such as copper. The composite material can be fabricated in small or relatively large sizes using inexpensive materials. The process basically consists, for example, of sputter coating diamond powder with several elements, including a carbide forming element and a brazeable material, compacting them into a porous body, and infiltrating the porous body with a suitable braze material, such as copper-silver alloy, thereby producing a dense diamond-copper composite material with a thermal conductivity comparable to synthetic diamond films at a fraction of the cost.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.