Silicon is the major material in IC manufacture. It has high thermal conductivity and is compatible with precision micro-fabrication. It also has decent thermal expansion coefficient to most semiconductor materials. These characteristics make it an ideally underlying material for fabricating micro/mini heat pipes and their wick structures. In this paper, we focus our research investigations on high heat flux phase change capacity of the silicon wick structures. The experimental wick sample is composed of silicon pillars 320μm in height and 30 ∼ 100μm in diameter. In a stainless steel test chamber, synchronized visualizations and measurements are performed to crosscheck experimental phenomena and data. Using the mono-wick structure with large silicon pillar of 100μm in diameter, the phase change on the silicon wick structure reaches its maximum heat flux at 1,130W/cm2 over a 2mm×2mm heating area. The wick structure can fully utilize the wick pump capability to supply liquid from all 360° directions to the center heating area. In contrast, the large heating area and fine silicon pillars 10μm in diameter significantly reduces liquid transport capability and suppresses generation of nucleate boiling. As a result, phase change completely relies on evaporation, and the CHF of the wick structure is reduced to 180W/cm2. An analytical model based on high heat flux phase change of mono-porous wick structures indicates that heat transfer capability is subjected to the ratio between the wick particle radius and the heater dimensions, as well as vapor occupation ratio of the porous volume. In contrast, phase change heat transfer coefficients of the wick structures essentially reflect material properties of wick structure and mechanism of two-phase interactions within wick structures.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.