During the past 20 years, there has been intense worldwide interest in microchannel heat exchangers, particularly for cooling of microelectronic components. Saturated boiling of the coolant is usually indicated in order to accommodate high heat fluxes and to have uniformity of temperature. However, boiling is accompanied by several instabilities, the most severe of which can sharply limit the maximum, or critical, heat flux. These stability phenomena are reviewed, and recent studies will be discussed. Elevation of the critical heat flux will be discussed within the context of heat transfer enhancement. Means to improve the stability of boiling and the enhancement of boiling heat transfer, in general, are discussed.

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