The performance enhancements and footprint decreases of advanced electronic devices result in soaring power densities which may in turn lead to elevated operating temperatures. As elevated device temperatures lead to decreased device reliability and increased thermal stresses, it is necessary to employ aggressive thermal management techniques to maintain an acceptable junction temperature at high power densities. For this reason, interest is growing in a variety of liquid cooling techniques This study analyzes an advanced engineered-material heat sink which provides significant improvements in thermal management strategies for advanced electronics. The heat sink consists of a very large number of small cross-section fins fabricated from carbon pitch fibers. For these carbon pitch fibers, the high thermal conductivity reduces the temperature drop along the length of the fin creating a longer effective fin length than for copper fins. The longer length results in more heat transfer surface area and a more effective heat sink. In liquid cooling, the rough surface of the fin will provide multiple bubble nucleation sites, strongly promoting active two-phase heat transfer over the entire fin surface. This surface enhancement is expected to lead to significant increases in performance over conventional heat sinks. This experimental analysis characterizes the thermal performance of the carbon-fiber heat sink in two-phase closed loop thermosyphon operation using FC72 as the operating fluid. The influence of power load, thermosyphon fill volume and condenser operating temperature on the overall thermal performance is examined. The results of this experiment provide significant insight into the possible implementation and benefits of carbon fiber heat sink technology in two-phase flow leading to significant improvements in thermal management strategies for advanced electronics.

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