In a variety of electronic systems, cooling of various components imposes a significant challenge. A major aspect that inhibits the performance of many cooling solutions is the thermal resistance between the chip package and the cooling structure. Due to its low thermal conductivity, the thermal interface material (TIM) layer imposes a significant thermal resistance on the chip to cooling fluid thermal path. Advanced cooling methods that bypass the TIM have shown great potential in research and some specialty applications, yet have not been adopted widely by industry due to challenges associated with practical implementation and economic constraints. One advanced cooling method that can bypass the TIM is jet impingement. The impingement cooling device investigated in the current study is external to the integrated circuit (IC) package and could be easily retrofitted onto any existing microchip, similar to a standard heatsink. Jet impingement cooling has proven effective in previous studies. However, it has been shown that jet-to-jet interference severely degrades thermal performance of an impinging jet array. The present research addresses this challenge by utilizing a flow path geometry that allows for withdrawal of the impinging fluid immediately adjacent to each jet in the array.

In this study, a jet impingement cooling solution for high-performance ICs was developed and tested. The cooling device was fabricated using modern advanced manufacturing techniques and consisted of an array of micro-scale impinging jets. A second array of fluid return paths was overlain across the jet array to allow for direct fluid extraction in the immediate vicinity of each jet, and fluid return passages were oriented in parallel to the impinging jets. The following key geometric parameters were utilized in the device: jet diameter (D = 300μm), distance from jet to impinging surface (H/D = 2.5), spacing between jets (S/D = 8), spacing between fluid returns (Sr/D = 8), diameter of fluid returns (Dr/D = 5). The device was mounted to a 2cm × 2cm uniformly heated surface which produced up to 165W and the resulting fluid-to-surface temperature difference was measured at a variety of flow rates. For this study, the device was tested using single-phase water. Jet Reynolds number ranged from 300–1500 and an average heat transfer coefficient of 13,100 W m−2 K−1 was achieved at a Reynolds number of only Red = 305.

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