A novel two-port thermal flux method is implemented for degassing a microscale loop heat pipe (mLHP) and charging it with a working fluid. The mLHP is fabricated on a silicon wafer using standard MEMS micro-fabrication techniques, and capped by a Pyrex wafer, using anodic bonding. For these devices, small volumes and large capillary forces render conventional vacuum pump-based methods quite impractical. Instead, we employ thermally generated pressure gradients to purge non-condensible gases from the device, by vapor convection. Three different, high-temperature-compatible, MEMS device packaging techniques have been studied and implemented, in order to evaluate their effectiveness and reliability. The first approach uses O-rings in a mechanically sealed plastic package. The second approach uses an aluminum double compression fitting assembly for alignment, and soldering for establishing the chip-to-tube interconnects. The third approach uses a high temperature epoxy to hermetically embed the device in a machined plastic base package. Using water as the working fluid, degassing and filling experiments are conducted to verify the effectiveness of the thermal flux method.

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