Request For Proposals By The Toyota Research Institute of North America

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The Toyota Research Institute of North America (TRINA), Electronics Research Department (ERD), is seeking research proposals on two technical topics.


TRINA, established in 2008, is a R&D center of Toyota located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. TRINA aims to strengthen Toyota’s advanced research function throughout North America and to discover cutting-edge technologies for sustainable mobility. ERD’s research interests include advanced cooling and bonding technologies for future hybrid vehicle power electronics.


Topic 1: 3D Microstructural Imaging & Performance Evaluation for Thermal Interface Materials

The proposed technology should focus on the development of new (novel) high temperature tolerant (>250 ℃) bonding material systems for power electronics considering the following technical points:

  • Technologies to measure and relate thermal-mechanical properties and reliability by using actual bonding samples and test specimens of same size
    • Thermal-mechanical properties: Stress-strain curve, Young’s modulus, thermal conductivity, yield strength, tensile/shear strength, elongation, creep, etc.
    • Reliability: Thermal storage, thermal shock, thermal cycle, power cycle, etc.
  • Technologies to capture 3-D images at high resolution (micron to sub-micron scale) and perform material identification and quantification
    • Distinguish, identify and quantify voids, cracks and constituent materials by differences of colors, contrasts, etc. of 3-D images
  • Technologies to build physics-based finite element models from 3-D images and predict thermal-mechanical properties and reliability based on material properties


Metal-to-metal bonding, solder bonding, metal particle sintering bonding, transient liquid phase bonding, mechanical strength, thermal conductivity, electrical resistance


Topic 2: Heat Spreading Technology to Remove High Heat Flux

Ultimate goal is to enable compact air cooling of high power density electronics. Specifically, the proposed technology should enable uniform heat spreading for high heat density hot spots exceeding 1 kW/cm2 across a large area (~100 times). The following points should be considered:

  • Design and analysis technology based on modeling of evaporation/condensation and capillary effect in wick structure
  • Fabrication technology of porous wick structure and integration technology for heat spreader (possible solutions include vapor chamber or oscillating heat pipe)
  • Other high-performance heat spreading technologies or concepts are also welcome


Heat spreader, heat pipe, phase change, vapor chamber, capillary force, wick, porous, oscillating heat pipe, self-oscillation, evaporator, dry-out, critical heat flux, numerical modeling


Project Budget: $150,000 / year for each project, up to two (2) years.

For full consideration, final proposals should be submitted by December 13, 2015.

If you have any questions, please send an email to with the subject line: TOYOTA PROPOSAL QUESTIONS

Fill out my online form.

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