Heat removal is an increasing engineering challenge for higher-density packaging of circuit components. Microchannel heat sinks with liquid cooling have been investigated to take advantage of high surface-to-volume ratio and higher heat capacity of liquids relative to gases. This study experimentally investigated heat removal by liquid cooling through shallow copperclad cavities with staggered pin-fin arrays. Cavities with pin-fins were fabricated by chemical etching of a copperclad layer (nominally 105 μm thick) on a printed-circuit substrate (FR-4). The overall etched cavity was 30 mm wide, 40 mm long, and 0.1 mm deep. The pins were 1.1 mm in diameter and were distributed in a staggered arrangement. The cavity was sealed with a second copperclad substrate using an elastomer gasket. This assembly was then connected to a syringe pump delivery system. Deionized water was used as the working fluid, with volumetric flow rate up to 1.5 mL/min. The heat sink was subjected to a uniform heat flux of 5 W on the underside. Performance of the heat sink was evaluated in terms of pressure drop and the convection thermal resistance. Pressure drop across the heat sinks was less than 10 kPa, dominated by wall surface area rather than the small surface area contributed by cylindrical pins. At low flow rate, caloric thermal resistance dominated the overall thermal resistance of the heat sink. When compared to a microchannel without pins, the pin-fin microchannel reduced convective thermal resistance of the heat sink by approximately a factor of 4.

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