A review of the recent literature related to the thermal contact conductance of metallic substrates with metallic and non-metallic coatings and films is presented. The review is restricted to surface coatings and films which may be used in conjunction with microelectronic components. Metallic and non-metallic coating materials are discussed, including techniques for deposition of the coatings, experimental measurement techniques, metallic substrate surface characteristics, and optimum thermal performance characteristics are discussed in terms of their potential for applications in microelectronic systems. Representative experimental data are provided and compared with selected published data. The paper concludes with recommendations for emerging and continuing areas of investigation.