Two-Phase Microfluidics for Semiconductor Circuits and Fuel Cells

Hidrovo, C.H., Kramer, T.A., Wang, E.N., Vigneron, S., Steinbrenner, J.E., Koo, J.-M., Wang, F.-M., Fogg, D.W., Flynn, R.D., Lee, E.S., Cheng, C.-H., Kenny, T.W., Eaton, J.K. and Goodson, K.E., 2006, "Two-Phase Microfluidics for Semiconductor Circuits and Fuel Cells," Heat Transfer Engineering, Vol. 27, pp. 53-63.

Download PDF

Industrial trends are presenting major challenges and opportunities for research on two-phase flows in microchannels.  Semiconductor companies are developing 3D circuits for which multilevel microfluidic cooling is important. Gas delivery microchannels are promising for PEM fuel cells in portable electronics. However, data and modeling are needed for flow regime stability, liquid entrainment/clogging, and bubble inception/departure in complex 2D and 3D geometries. This paper provides an overview of the Stanford two-phase microfluidics program, with a focus on recent experimental and theoretical progress. Microfabrication technologies are used to distribute heaters, thermometers, pressure sensors, and liquid injection ports along the flow path. Liquid PIV quantifies forces on bubbles, and fluorescence imaging detects flow shapes and liquid volume fraction. Separated flow models account for conjugate conduction, liquid injection, evaporation, and a variety of flow regimes. This work benefits strongly from interactions with semiconductor and fuel cell companies seeking validated models for product design.

Related Projects

Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells show promise as CO2-free energy-conversion devices. Reducing the size of the gas delivery channels could improve the efficiency and power density of PEM fuel...
The development of high performance heat exchangers has enjoyed a long tradition of research at Stanford University dating back to the early work by Kays and London (Compact Heat Exchangers, 1958)...