Closed-Loop Electroosmotic Cooling System for VLSI Circuits

Jiang, Mikkelsen, Koo, Huber, Yao, Zhang, Zhou, Maveety, Prasher, Santiago, Kenny, Goodson, 2002, "Closed-Loop Electroosmotic Cooling System for VLSI Circuits," IEEE Proc. Components, Packaging, & Manufacturing Technology, Vol. 25, pp. 347-355.  SEMITHERM Best Paper, 2001.  Our US patents based on this paper: 6942018, 6991024, 7131486, 7185697, & 7334630. 

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The increasing heat generation rates in VLSI circuits motivate research on compact cooling technologies with low thermal resistance. This paper develops a closed-loop two-phase microchannel cooling system using electroosmotic pumping for the working fluid. The design, fabrication, and open-loop performance of the heat exchanger and pump are summarized. The silicon heat exchanger, which attaches to the heater chip (1 cm2), achieves junction-fluid resistance near 0.1 K/W using 40 plasma-etched channels with hydraulic diameter of 100 m. The electroosmotic pump, made of an ultrafine porous glass frit with working volume of 1.4 cm3, achieves maximum backpressure and flowrate of 160 KPa and 7 ml/min, respectively, using 1 mM buffered de-ionized water as working fluid. The closed-loop system removes 38 W with pump power of 2 W and junction-ambient thermal resistance near 2.5 K/W. Further research is expected to strongly reduce the thermal resistance for a given heating power by optimizing the saturation temperature, increasing the pump flowrate, eliminating the thermal grease, and optimizing the heat exchanger dimensions.

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